2022-12-08 16:15 || 1.0.0
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    Reflux is more than discomfort. It can have serious consequences.

    Jelen cikk 2022.02.21. előtt készült.

    Utolsó módosítás dátuma: 2022-03-21

    Ez a cikk több mint 2 éve frissült utoljára. Kérjük, olvasáskor vegye ezt figyelembe!

    Reflux is affecting ever more and ever younger individuals.  Márta Varga, MD, gastroenterologist at the Buda Health Center, answered our questions regarding this many faceted civilization's disease of varied symptoms.

     

    Reflux symptoms may present during the night and during the day at the most inopportune moments causing problems from sleep disturbance to cardiac and gastrointestinal complaints.  When should we suspect reflux?

    Reflux occurs when, for some reason, the valve separating the oesophagus from the stomach does not close properly or when the elevated abdominal pressure opens the valve from below causing the food mixed with stomach acid to seep into the oesophagus, irritating and damaging the lower segment.  The symptoms may be queasiness, nausea, chest irritation, heartburn, caustic feeling at the mouth of the stomach, acidic bad taste in the mouth and coughing.  Most typical is heartburn and pain in the chest and the oesophagus.  Besides these typical symptoms, there may be those that do not “involve the oesophagus” that can be deceptive.  These may include pain behind the sternum due to stomach acid which can easily be confused with coronary artery pain.

     

    Reflux is considered one of civilization’s diseases.  What are the chief factors in our life styles that foster its development?

    The first place to look would be our eating habits.  We eat irregularly, skip meals during the day, eat big meals in the evening and then add the occasional festive meals encouraging the development of reflux.  The stomach becomes overextended, the increased pressure on the abdominal cavity causes the sphincter muscles to shorten thereby increasing the production of stomach acid.  It is no wonder, then, that just about every other person has, at any one time, experienced heartburn, the most unpleasant symptom of reflux!  The sedentary life style of today, the prevalent obesity, the low fiber diet, smoking, alcohol and stress and the side effects of medication taken for other disorders all contribute to this condition, increasing the abdominal cavity pressure and weakening the sphincter muscles.  The condition is further exacerbated by the belief that the symptoms will pass, that it is part of the aging process and there is no need to seek medical help in time.      

     

    What are the consequences of not seeking medical help?

    The regurgitated stomach acid in the oesophagus may seriously damage several of our organs with serious complications if reflux is left untreated.  The stomach acid entering our mouth can destroy the enamel on our teeth leading to tooth decay and tooth loss.  The mucous membrane of our oesophagus may suffer acid burns, bacterial infection may occur which may then lead to inflammation of the oesophagus, scar tissue and narrowing and if special abnormalities (i.e., Barrett’s-oesophagus) in the mucous membrane of the oesophagus are left untreated, cancer may develop or life threatening bleeding may occur.

     

    What can we do to prevent reflux and how can we alleviate its effects if we already have reflux?

    You should definitely contact your doctor if you have reflux symptoms.  The treatment is twofold: first, we must get the oesophageal sphincter muscle to close properly and, secondly, we must prevent the overproduction of stomach acid.  In cases of serious damage to the oesophagus (i.e., acid burns, narrowing, scar tissue, etc.), surgery may be necessary.

    Along with the medical treatment, a carefully thought out diet might help avoid the unpleasant effects and possible complications of reflux.  Much depends on each individual’s sensitivity - every person has to work out for himself the particular foods and conditions that cause the symptoms.  These are mostly spicy and fatty foods, the ones more difficult and slower to digest or, when a greater amount of food is consumed at one time, cause the stomach to be full for a longer period of time.   

    Coffee, tea, liquor, carbonated drinks, fatty and pickled foods should be avoided as well as smoking.  It is best to eat small servings, eat more often and thoroughly chew your food since mixing it well with the alkaline saliva helps speed digestion, putting less strain on the stomach.

    Pregnant women should be aware of the dangers of reflux since the growing fetus will increase the pressure in the stomach cavity possibly causing the mouth of the stomach to temporarily open.  Those having weight problems, especially in the stomach region, would do well to go on a diet which would ease the effects of reflux and may even prevent it.

    When you need instant help, foods such as crackers, milk, oatmeal and cooked potatoes will quickly alleviate the discomfort caused by stomach acid and if you want to avoid nighttime reflux, remember not to eat anymore four hours before retiring.  You may also raise the bed on the end where your head is or use a higher pillow to stop any possible regurgitation. 

    Physical activity is very effective since it encourages digestion; however, exercises such as weight lifting, bicycling and jumping should be avoided since they increase the pressure in the stomach cavity.  Clothing that is very tight around the waist may also contribute to the reflux symptoms and stress and inner tension increase the production of stomach acid thereby making your condition worse.  Tranquilizers are not a solution either since they loosen the stomach’s sphincter muscles.  The best is to look for natural stress treatments such as relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises and physical activities.

    Feel free to contact our specialists!

    At the Buda Health Center, you have the opportunity to attend the private practices of more than 300 renowned specialists, offering expertise in nearly 45 medical specialisms, at three locations. Personalized care is provided by a well-trained and empathetic staff of professionals, who have been working together for a long time. Based on our 23 years of experience and the feedback received from our 450,000 clients, we are constantly working to organize our healthcare services in the most efficient way possible for those who visit us, paying respect to their needs and time.

    Book an appointment on weekdays between 08:00 and 20:00 on +36 1 489-5200!

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