When you experience a burning sensation in your chest or just a uncomfortable sensation of acid from your stomach creeping up your mouth, then you may be experiencing acid reflux. This usually affects at least 40% of the American population. When this incident happens during the night, then you will wake up gasping for air for the acid has already reached your airway. These are common symptoms that affect a lot of people on a daily basis. Many people are not aware why they experience these symptoms. Here are some possible causes for your discomfort and maybe you could prevent further incidents of reflux.
· List down the food that you eat. Reflux of acid is usually caused by a variety of foods. it could range from citrus fruits, sour cream, juices, high fat desserts, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Two of the most infamous causes are peppermint and chocolate. The esophageal sphincter is relaxed when these foods are ingested so there is no closure of the passageway from the espohagus to the stomach leading to the reflux of food up in the digestive tract. When the esophageal sphincter, relaxes the result is a reflux.
· Determine from the person that sleep beside you or have seen you sleep if you snore during the night. Snoring could be an indication that you are suffering from sleep apnea. This is one major cause of reflux. Snoring restricts the passage of air causing you to increase effort at breathing. This will result in the lungs expanding causing the esophagus to be filled more with acid. This concentrates the acid. While sleeping, the body also stops producing saliva that helps in keeping the action of acid to the mucous membranes at bay. With a decrease in saliva production and increase in acid concentration, the effect could be damaging.
· Too much abdominal pressure is also one of the major causes of reflux. This could be achieved in many ways. Eating a large meal before going to bed is one way. Wearing tight clothes is also another way to increase abdominal pressure. Fluids usually go from an area of high pressure to low pressure. In this case, the stomach has higher pressure leading the acid to go to the chest with lower pressure. This can be force up reaching the level of the esophagus.
· Another cause of acid reflux is the presence of a hiatal hernia. This is where a portion of the stomach is present in the chest cavity. The contents of the stomach may spill to the chest area. Further test will be needed to diagnose this condition. Seeing your physician and opening to him about your problem will be of great help. He can help trace your medical history if indeed you possess this condition.