Acid reflux is a symptom of GERD which is a digestive disorder. The most common symptoms are heartburn and indigestion but it also causes nausea, headaches and vomiting. Most people rarely have acid reflux and it is no cause for concern. Extreme symptoms include vomiting which damages the oesophagus and rots teeth. Long-term acid reflux may be symptoms of a more serious condition so it is best to get it checked out.
Causes of acid reflux include; spicy foods, fatty foods, chocolate, being overweight, smoking, pregnancy, stress, anti-inflammatories, asthma inhalers and hiatus hernia. Lying down too soon after eating also causes indigestion. Most people solve their discomfort by taking over the counter antacids to neutralise the acid. Changes to your lifestyle such as losing weight and giving up smoking usually prevent symptoms from reoccurring.
If GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is the cause of your acid reflux you will not be able to relieve your symptoms as easily. GERD is when the band of muscle between the stomach and the oesophagus becomes loose allowing stomach acid to flow back to the mouth. This causes bad breath and a bitter taste in the mouth. Proton pump inhibitors reduce acid production in the stomach and help to prevent acid reflux.
Sometimes acid reflux leads to vomiting because the buildup of acid causes discomfort. Frequent sickness prevents nutrients from being absorbed by the body resulting in low blood sugar levels. Dizziness and headaches are symptoms of low sugar and in extreme cases cause fainting. Acid reflux treatments may result in feeling lightheaded and headaches if this is the case you must see your doctor.
Migraine symptoms include; upset stomach, vomiting, dizziness and headaches. You may experience acid reflux during the onset of a migraine. Sometimes inner ear infections cause vomiting and nausea due to balance issues. If this is the case your doctor will refer you to an ear nose and throat specialist.
POTs or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is an autonomic condition which has symptoms of nausea, dizziness and headaches. It is a condition affecting the vegetative nervous system controlling digestion, respiratory system and major organs. Your heart rate increases dramatically when moving from a sitting to standing position often causing dizziness and fainting. Patients are treated under the care of a cardiologist who helps them to manage symptoms.
Persistent symptoms are a cause of concern as it may be a sign of a more serious condition. Recording your symptoms in a diary helps your doctor to determine the cause. Once your doctor determines the cause you will receive the right course of treatment. Untreated acid reflux causes damage to the oesophagus and increases the chances of developing Barrett's oesophagus. Cells in the oesophagus change making them precancerous.
Proton pump inhibitors such as; Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Esomeprazole, Nexium and Losec treat acid reflux. They reduce the amount of stomach acid produced relieving indigestion and heartburn. This treatment is very effective so if your symptoms persist it is likely that you have another condition.