acid reflux sore throat
Sore Throats set off by Acid Reflux
Acid reflux refers to the condition in which the partially digested food containing stomach acids travels back into the esophagus causing heartburn and esophageal damage. One of the things which are not obviously linked to the disease is an acid reflux sore throat.
Our digestive system is partially controlled by circular band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle acts like a none return valve and is positioned at the lower end of the esophagus and above the stomach at the top of the diaphragm separating the two. When the food enters the stomach, this muscle closes so as to prevent the partially digested materials from traveling back into the esophagus. But when the lower esophageal sphincter is rendered incompetent, the stomach contents are allowed to reflux back into the esophagus
The stomach contents that moves back to the esophagus contains digestive stomach acids which are used in the stomach to breakdown food. One of the stomach acid contents is hydrochloric acid which is very corrosive. The make up of the stomach is such that it protects itself from this corrosive acid but the esophagus and throat have none of this protection. Because of the acidic nature of the refluxed materials, inflammation can develop in the esophagus but can also affect the lining of the throat; thus a sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Sore throats due to acid reflux are not one of the first things you would associate with a sore throat. Usually they are attributed to sinus infection, an allergy to something, tonsillitis, cold and flu viruses to name but a few. A sore throat through acid reflux disease can also be accompanied with breathing difficulties due to a narrowing of the air passage.
Sore throat treatment
The pain or other difficulties caused by a sore throat can be eased if not entirely cured with simple self-treatments that can be done at home or natural herbal remedies. For a normal sore throat gargling is a recommended practice. You may try gargling with warm water mixed with table salt. Drinking plenty of water is also very important. Get extra sleep, for this encourages faster recovery. Popsicles or cold drinks are good for sore throats. Humidifiers or vaporizers can be used to soothe the pain in the throat. Promoting the production of saliva may help if the sore throat is acid reflux related. This can be dome by sucking sweets or chewing gum and works as an alternative remedy. It is known that saliva contains bicarbonates that help neutralize the acids that might have remained in the throat due to the reflux.
But if home-treatments are not enough to ease your sore throat, medical treatments are available. If the sore throat is related to acid reflux then taking acid reflux medication will ease the amount of acid refluxing into the throat so that any inflamed area may have a chance to heal. The intake of medicine is particularly advised for those who experience associated symptoms like difficulty in breathing, dehydration, and severe pains. Take antibiotics if you feel that viral or bacterial infections have further developed in the throat. Also, rheumatic fever can be prevented from arising, though this condition is very much uncommon. Corticosteroids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect, can help in case of critical sore throat conditions.
Sore throat preventative measures
Preventive measures and remedies, of course, are available to minimize the incidence of acid reflux, and sore throat. One practical and immediate treatment is the presence of gravity. At night while asleep or while lying down gravity is not helping your acid reflux. So by letting a person stay in a more upright position will help to let any digested materials that have refluxed into the esophagus flow back down to the stomach. You may have acid reflux disease for life so one long term soluton is buying an electrical adjustable bed.
Lifestyle changes are needed to help prevent acid reflux. One such change is in your eating habits and also what you eat will have a bearing on the treatment of acid reflux. Cases of acid reflux usually take place after a meal. It is recommended that evening meals should be taken earlier about 2 to 3 hours before sleeping. Smaller quantities of food should be eaten but more often. IE instead of having three large meals a day, taking 5 or 6 smaller meals is better. This is because the stomach will empty quicker and in so doing will produce less stomach acid and also less acid is needed in the stomach to digest the food. Another thing in the favour of smaller meals is that patients with acid reflux have less chances of refluxing their meal when they lie down.
Managing acid reflux disease is imperative in treating heartburn indigestion symptoms and curing an acid reflux sore throat can only improve your quality of life.