Acid reflux is a problem that affects millions of people all over the world. In fact, if you go into any hospital today and ask about the most common medical problem in this country, you will probably be told that heartburn is the number one complaint. That’s because people are finding it more difficult to live a long and healthy life with this affliction.

This ailment occurs when acids from the stomach come back up into the throat, irritate the lining of the esophagus, and cause irritation and inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach. The acid is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Since it enters the bloodstream and is not excreted, it will eventually travel throughout the body and affect many different parts of the body.

One of the things that makes acid reflux particularly dangerous is that it can make a person extremely sick. Heartburn is usually the primary symptom for anyone who has this problem. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness, pain in the chest, and lightheadedness. In some cases, acid reflux can lead to abdominal pain and even vomiting, as well as symptoms that seem like colitis or other digestive problems.

Since so many people find that they suffer from heartburn more than once a week, it is an important symptom to look for. Of course, the best way to prevent this is to watch what you eat and drink. Eliminating foods that are high in fat and acidity will help keep heartburn at bay.

Certain food types also tend to exacerbate the problem and should be avoided completely. Food items that are spicy, citrus, caffeinated, or citrus fruit drinks should be avoided. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, it might be a good idea to quit the habit and avoid caffeinated sodas as well.

People who have a predisposition to eating large amounts of fatty foods or who eat a lot of carbohydrates, including white bread and pastas, should take special note of what they eat and watch their diet to avoid excessive intake of these foods. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to get the nutrients you need, but eating too much of them could trigger heartburn.

Another thing that may trigger acid reflux in some people’s stomachs is the use of garlic in cooking. Before cooking, or after cooking garlic, consult your doctor about whether or not this ingredient should be ingested. Studies show that ingesting a small amount of garlic in water or juice can actually help calm heartburn and can help prevent further heartburn.

Other food items that cause flare-ups in the digestive system include spicy foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, fatty foods, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. While diet may not be the main cause of acid reflux, it can certainly make it worse. Alcohol should always be avoided, especially when suffering from acid reflux because alcohol will increase the acidity in the stomach.

Anyone who has a sweet tooth should limit their consumption of candy, sugar, and soda pop. Keeping a food journal for a month or so can help to pinpoint what you are eating that may be triggering your heartburn. If you are able to eliminate or reduce the root causes of your acid reflux, you will be able to cure it for good.

Drinking plenty of fluids will also go a long way toward healing your heartburn. Avoiding caffeinated drinks, hot drinks, carbonated drinks, and hot/cold foods is a great way to prevent the occurrence of heartburn in the first place. Many foods also contain preservatives, which may also cause acid reflux.

So, now you know what causes acid reflux. It may not be pretty, but getting the basics right, eating the right foods, drinking the right liquids, and avoiding foods that trigger heartburn is the first step to beating acid reflux once and for all.