WHAT IS ACID REFLUX?
If you have a persistently uncomfortable and sore throat and you have to clear your throat frequently, you might be suffering from gastic acid back flow or gastric reflux. It is not talked about but can be very common. WebMD states than more than 60 million Americans suffer from acid reflux symptoms at least one time a month. That is a lot. The condition is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or shortened to GERD.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ACID REFLUX SYMPTOMS?
Some or all of these GERD symptoms may exist:
Dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is a term for general discomfort in the stomach. Dyspepsia includes frequent burping, a feeling of bloating or fullness in the stomach, general stomach ache and a nauseos feeling often after eating.
Heartburn. Heartburn is often called acid indigestion and is a burning pain or discomfort. It's not actually connected to your heart at all, but the pain might move beyond your stomach right up to your chest and into your throat. Some people who believe they are having a heartattack are actually having an acute case of heartburn.
Regurgitation. This is feeling of acid coming up into your throat or mouth. It might be acidic or bitter or sour to taste. You might even experience a 'wet burp' or a little bit of vomit. A wet burp is when small amount of liquid are brought up. Or it might be a 'wet hiccup' when you actually hear a hiccuping sound.
OTHER COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OR SYMPTOMS OF ACID REFLUX DISEASE
A persistently sore throat (due to the acid coming up in your throat and oesophaghus)
The tendency to clear your throat a lot
A hoarse voice
Intolerance of certain foods especially citrus foods, coffee, garlic, onions. spicy food
A gassy feeling
Swallowing problems or pain
Hiccups that don't seem to go away
ACID REFLUX REMEDIES
There are over the counter treatments available for heartburn which will help with GERD. These are essentially anti-acids which neutralize acid or acid suppressers which suppress the production of acid in the first place. And for serious cases you can get drugs from your doctor such as acid blockers or barrier medications which coat the walls of your esophagus. However you can also make some lifestyle changes which should improve your acid reflux symptoms greatly. For some long term sufferers, they might undergo acid reflux surgery in order to fix the problem. Surgery for acid reflux is usually seen as a last ditch drastic solution. Lifestyle changes and medication can usually make a big difference for acid reflux sufferers.
ACID REFLUX SYMPTOMS AT NIGHT
Acid reflux symptoms tend to occur after a big meal or bending over. Pregnant woman are prone to symptoms of GERD too. But GERD's worse and most discomforting affects often take place at night. When you are on your back, gravity works against you, potentially causing your stomach acid to move up and damage or irritate your esophagus.
That's why an acid reflux pillow wedge might provide part of the acid reflux home remedy kit you need.
WHY BUY AN ACID REFLUX PILLOW WEDGE
An acid reflux pillow wedge is simply a triangular shaped pillow, usually made of foam, which keeps your body at an incline as you sleep. It is well worth trying out as:
- It will help you sleep better at night
- You may not have to rely so much on acid reflux pills, antacids and other medications which, when used in the long-term, may cause side effects
- Acid reflux pillow wedges are also recommended for indigestion, heartburn, sleep apnea, snoring and other breathing and digestive problems.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ACID REFLUX PILLOW WEDGE
- A removable and washable cover
- Good size and dimensions as recommended by a doctor:
- it should be long enough: around 30-25 inches long. If you get an acid reflux pillow wedge that is too short, your whole upper body will not be elevated and it might make the problem worse by putting more pressure on your stomach
- it should be wide enough, about 24 inches wide, but not so wide as there is no space in your bed for your loved one even in a king-sized or double bed.
- it should have sufficient incline. Acid reflux pillow wedges come in different heights from around 5 inches to 7 inches. Seven inches is generally considered optimal. A seven inch incline might feel too high at first and will take some getting used to (you might start dreaming about falling from a cliff for the first night!) but it has to be of a certain steepness to have any benefit. If it's too short, you might not get sufficient elevation for gravity to do its magic. If it's too high on the other hand, it might be too uncomfortable for you.
- Doctor recommended
- Made from hypoallergenic foam
- Has easy to buy replacement covers
- Has waves in the foam to prevent sliding down
OTHER THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN WHEN BUYING AN ACID REFLUX PILLOW WEDGE
- Easily foldable for travel purposes. Acute sufferers from acid reflux have been known to even take their wedge pillow on a long haul flight!
- The manufacturer should have a good customer service department.Pick a reputable company such as MedSlant who has a customer service helpline you can call.
SLEEPING ON AN ACID REFLUX PILLOW WEDGE: MORE TIPS
A GERD pillow wedge does take a while to get used to. You might find yourself sliding down and end up halfway down the pillow when you wake up in the morning. Or you turn over to hug your loved one and forget you're on the reflux pillow and slip off! Don't worry, you will get used to it!
And try not to go to bed on a full stomach. Your belly needs time to digest and empty its food
One more note: An acid reflux pillow has been designed for acid reflux disease, sleep apnea and other breathing or sleeping conditions. It has NOT been designed for reading in bed so don't buying thinking it will serve that purpose.
Research online for an acid reflux pillow wedge
And here's an accompanying article on homeopathy for acid reflux including acid reflux foods to avoid.