top of page

Acid Reflux : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Acid reflux refers to the condition in which the acid in the stomach goes back up into the esophagus or food pipe. Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is diagnosed when there is acid reflux more than twice a week. It is the most common digestive disease, especially in Western countries. However, if continued for long, it can cause serious complications.

What causes acid reflux?

Our stomach contains a strong acid, namely hydrochloric acid, which helps break the food into smaller forms. The esophagus is a tube-like structure through which the food goes from the mouth into the stomach.

There is a ring of muscle called the gastroesophageal sphincter at the end of the esophagus. It is designed to act as a valve and allow the food to enter the stomach but prevent its backflow into the esophagus.

When this valve fails to function normally, stomach contents are regurgitated into the esophagus. Also, the stomach lining is adapted to protect it from this strong acid, but unfortunately, the esophagus is not thus adapted.

When some of this hydrochloric acid present in the stomach flows back into the esophagus, this gives rise to the various symptoms of acid reflux.

What are the risk factors of acid reflux?

The various risk factors that are associated with acid reflux are:

  • Obesity

  • Active or passive smoking

  • Sedentary life

  • Certain medication such as painkillers, sedatives, calcium-channel blockers, antihistamines, antidepressants, and drugs to treat asthma

  • Pregnancy

  • Hiatal hernia- In this, a hole in the diaphragm allows the entry of the upper part of the stomach into the chest cavity, leading to GERD. Food and diet- Certain food such as alcohol, caffeine, low fibre diet, having large meals, high salt intake, lying down 2-3 hours after meals, consuming excessive acidic juices, carbonated drinks, and chocolate.

What are the sign and symptoms of acid reflux?

The various sign and symptoms of acid reflux are:-

  • Heartburn – This refers to the burning sensation felt behind the breastbone area. It can move up towards the throat and neck. It worsens after eating lying down or bending over. At times the stomach acids reach the back of the throat and cause a sour or bitter taste.

  • Heartburn may be due to a single episode of excessive eating or may persist two or more times in a week. In the latter condition, it is called GERD.

  • Persistent, dry cough

  • Wheezing

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Soreness, laryngitis or hoarseness in the throat

  • Pain or difficulty on swallowing

  • Upper abdominal or chest pain

  • Dental erosion

  • Bad breath


Acid reflux is a common digestive problem. It refers to the backflow of stomach fluid into the food pipe. If it occurs more than twice a week it is called GERD. Heartburn, dry cough, wheezing, nausea, pain throat and difficulty swallowing are typical signs and symptoms of GERD. Risk factors such as obesity, smoking, fatty, spicy food, excessive alcohol, sedentary life, pregnancy, and faulty practices such as hurried eating, lying down within 2-3 hours of having meals are attributed to GERD. If left untreated, it can lead to esophagitis, strictures, and Barrett’s esophagus. Taking a balanced and nutritious diet, plenty of fluids, regular exercise, restricting alcohol and individual food triggers, eating frequent and small meals, and avoiding lying down 2-3 hours after meals are management tips for GERD. Homeopathy provides safe and effective treatment for acid reflux.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Blog Post

bottom of page