The esophagus is the passage that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. At the junction between this pipe and the stomach, there is a ring of muscle which functions as a valve. It is known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) As soon as food and liquid passes through the esophagus, this muscle relaxes and allows the content to flow down into the stomach. Thereafter, it closes again and tightens up. However, due to certain reasons, this very valve may fail to close once it has allowed food and liquid to pass through it, or opens too often. And when this happens, stomach acid (which is produced to aid digestion) can back flow to the esophagus. This condition is what is known as acid reflux, and it also called so because of its nature.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Given the nature of this ailment that causes stomach acid, and sometimes, food to flow back into the esophagus, the affected person may experience the taste of regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of the throat. So, while the reflux is occurring, the patient may have a nauseating feeling, which may make him/her feel that he/she is about to throw up. Other symptoms which may arise include heartburn (a burning sensation produce by the backwash of the stomach acid which irritates the inside lining of the esophagus), bloating, vomit that may contain blood in it, persistent hiccups, abnormal weight loss, dry cough, hoarse voice, and sore throat.
For occasional and milder forms of acid reflux, making a few lifestyle changes is good enough to deal with the problem. Patients are advised to recognize potential triggers such as foods and drinks and avoid them, eat smaller meals, maintain healthy weight, stay upright for at least for 2 - 3 hours post meal, avoid wearing tight fitting clothes or belts, shun smoking, and choose alternatives to certain medications which seem to trigger the reflux. One may also benefit from over-the-counter medications to manage occasional acid reflux episodes. Common medicines may include antacids, H-2-receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. However, if the ailment has progressed to GERD, then prescription medications may have to be administered.
Besides medication, there are a few home remedies which may help to reduce the nauseating feeling or vomiting. Some of them are as follows:
- Lime juice is a popular drink that helps to reduce nausea. Get a cup of water, and mix it with about 10 drops of lime juice. Half a teaspoon of sugar can be added to improve the taste
- Make cinnamon tea by boiling half a cup of cinnamon powder in a cup of boiling water. Strain the mixture and sip the tea when it has become warm
- Clove is another natural remedy that helps in fighting nausea. Mix a teaspoon of clove powder in a cup of water and boil it. Strain and sip
- Ginger has long been known to reduce nausea, and vomiting. It is also recommended for people undergoing chemotherapy, to ease their vomiting. Prepare black tea, as you normally do, and add diced ginger, and let the tea simmer for sometime. Strain and drink the tea
The above remedies not only help in fighting nausea, but are also helpful in treating the condition of acid reflux thus, providing two-fold benefits. But if they are not helping then consulting a doctor is recommended.