Sore throat is acid reflux in disguise

Last Updated 24 November 2017, 16:14 IST

Do you frequently suffer from sore throat and heartburn and spend sleepless nights? The cold weather may not be the culprit. Believe it or not, you may be suffering from acid reflux. More than 60 million people experience heartburn at least once a month, and 15 million suffer from it daily.

Acid reflux is a condition in which the stomach contents flow in reverse from the stomach into the oesophagus, causing heartburn and inflammation of the throat. This chronic condition is worse than just indigestion, as it can damage the throat, lungs and larynx.

Research shows that acid reflux patients are prone to be predisposed to carcinoma of oesophagus. Hence, they are advised to undergo endoscopy in regular intervals to diagnose the condition on time.

Here are some lifestyle changes one can make to keep acid reflux in check:

* Avoid late night binge eating and lying down immediately after a meal. Keep at least a 30-minute interval between bedtime and your last meal.

* Obese individuals are more likely to experience frequent bouts of acid reflux, as they tend to experience a squeeze phenomenon that can force stomach juices upward into the oesophagus.

* Watch your diet. Eat small and more frequent meals. Avoid fats, onions, tomatoes, chocolate etc. Alcohol is known to trigger heartburn by increasing the production of stomach acids. Coffee, tea, tomato juice, citrus juices and cola may also aggravate symptoms.

If symptoms do not improve despite changes in diet, medications such as antacids will neutralise acids in the stomach, thus preventing the condition. Surgery is also an option in extreme cases.

(Published 24 November 2017, 08:54 IST)

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