The term, acid reflux tends to imply that the stomach juice that “refluxes” upward into the esophagus causing symptoms is acid alone. The reason the term “acid” reflux is used is that when reflux occurs, acid is the component of the stomach juice that causes irritation of the esophagus and therefore, the symptoms.
- Acid reflux is just another term for gastroesophageal reflux.
- The stomach juice that refluxes contains many chemicals of which acid is only one.
- Drugs that are used to treat GERD decrease or remove acid from the juices that are refluxing, but the reflux continues.
What Is Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is very descriptive of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD.) In fact they are one and the same. These terms can be used interchangeably. However, for proper understanding, further explanation is needed.
The term tends to imply that the stomach juice that “refluxes” upward into the esophagus causing symptoms is acid alone. However, the juices that are contained within the stomach include a wide array of chemicals. These include bile, enzymes and others. The stomach also produces acid that is mixed with these other chemicals. Therefore “acid” is not the only thing that is refluxing, but the whole array of the chemicals in the stomach juice of which acid is only one.
About the “Acid”
The reason the term “acid” reflux is used is that when reflux occurs, acid is the component of the stomach juice that causes irritation of the esophagus and therefore, the symptoms. Heartburn is the most common. The thought pattern that follows is if the acid is removed from the stomach juice, the “irritant” is gone and even though the reflux of stomach juice is still occurring, symptoms do not happen.
This is exactly what happens when any of the medications for acid reflux (or GERD) are taken. The drugs either neutralize the acid in the stomach juice or decrease its production by the stomach. Reflux continues, but in the majority of situations symptoms are improved.
Notably, the actual cause of GERD is not addressed by the medications. The dysfunctional valve at the end of the esophagus is not changed at all. Therefore, since the valve is not improved, these drugs fail in many patients and another approach is needed for relief.
Other options for the relief of GERD are available at the Heartburn Treatment Center.
Today, make that decision to contact Dr. Nilesh Patel. Register for your FREE Evaluation at one of our treatment centers. If you would like to speak to someone about acid reflux and its causes, symptoms or treatments please fill out our online contact us form.