Acid reflux is a very common condition in which you feel a burning pain in your lower chest area, this is also known as heartburn. This happens when the stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe. There is a valve at the entrance of your stomach which a ring of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). when the LES doesn’t close all the way or opens too often after the food passes from the food pipe to the stomach, the stomach acid flows back up to the food pipe causing acid reflux.
The treatment for acid is mostly medications as it is not a very severe condition. Some of the most common drugs used in treating acid reflux are PPIs including Omeprazole, Rabeprazole and Ezomeprazole. H2 blockers are also used widely which includes Cimetidine, Ranitidine and Famotidine. Antacids and Alginate drugs such as Gaviscon are also used. There are also other medication which are used in some very particular cases, some of them are Sucralfate acid suppressants, Potassium competitive acid blockers, GABA(B) receptor agonist, transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation reducers (TLESR). In some very peculiar conditions, some other drugs used are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), tricyclic antidepressant, prokinetic agents and pain modulators. In some very rare cases if the medication is not effective then acid reflux can also be treated by a surgery known as Fundoplication.
Since the treatment is done mostly through medication, oral intake of the drugs are the most common procedure. However, in some cases the medications are also given through injections. Apart from some common medicines, there are some medications that are used in combination for some very special cases. As for surgery, it is also a minor surgery that is done with ease. The surgery is done mostly to control extra inflammation of your esophagus that is the tube that runs from your mouth to stomach, i.e- food pipe. Narrowing of esophagus and a change in the cells can also be treated through surgery.
Lifestyle is the biggest factor that causes acid reflux. Heavy meals or lying down after a meal are some reasons that cause acid reflux. If you are experiencing bitter taste in your mouth or heartburn on a regular basis then you should consult a doctor for medication.
Acid reflux is a very common condition that can happen to anybody. A simple lifestyle change can also trigger the condition that lasts for a day or less. In such cases, you don’t need to visit a doctor as the condition gets treated on its own or by taking an antacid.
There are no major side effects as such only if you don’t have an already existing condition such as heart condition or digestive problems. However, in some cases they can cause minor problem such as causing difficulty in absorbing nutrients causing malnutrition. Diarrhea, stomach cramps and mild fever are also some other side effects of acid reflux medication in some very rare and extreme cases.
Since the condition is related to food pipe and stomach, the most emphasized post treatment guideline is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that focuses strongly on a balanced and healthy diet. In some cases, some exercises such as walking after a meal is also prescribed. Heavy meals and sleeping after meals should also be avoided. As for surgery, the post treatment guideline remains the same.
Acid reflux is a very minor condition that gets taken of almost instantly. In case of persistent development of the condition, it can take a week or a couple of months to get treated. In case of surgery, you will be discharged from the hospital the very next day but the recovery can take up to 8 to 10 weeks.
The price of the treatment is very cheap. Some medications for acid reflux start at just a rupee and can go up to INR 100. Surgery is also not very expensive and it can range between INR 50000 to INR 200000.
The treatment results are prompt and permanent in most cases. In some cases, there are chances that the condition doesn’t get treated completely. Acid reflux can be triggered by the slightest of lifestyle changes such as sleeping very late so the chance of the condition developing again is also high.
Since it is a very common and ancient condition, there are a lot of home remedies to cure acid reflux. Some of the most effective home remedies are Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. Homeopathy is also another alternative for treating acid reflux. Some of the most widely used medicines are Arsenic album, Carbo vegetables, nux vomica, and phosphorus. Ayurveda is also a very effective and safe treatment for acid reflux. Some of the most common Ayurvedic treatment includes Ashwagandha, coconut water, pomegranate, and baked fennel seeds.
Relative Risk: Medium
Side Effects: Medium
Time For Recovery: Low
Price Range: Rs 1 to Rs 200000.