Acid reflux is a common condition that features a burning pain, known as heartburn, in the lower chest area. It happens when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe.
Acid reflux is when some of the acid content of the stomach flows up into the esophagus, into the gullet, which moves food down from the mouth. Despite the name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart.
• Smoking (active or passive)
• Low levels of physical exercise
• Medications, including drugs for asthma, calcium-channel blockers, antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants
Food and dietary habits that have been linked to acid reflux include:
• A high intake of table salt
• A diet low in dietary fiber
• Eating large meals
• Lying down within 2 to 3 hours of eating a meal
• Consuming chocolate, carbonated drinks, and acidic juices
Symptoms of acid reflux disease include:
• Bloody or black stools or bloody vomiting
• Dysphagia — the sensation of food being stuck in your throat
• Hiccups that don’t let up
• Weight loss for no known reason
• Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
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