What happen when one is having acid reflux (or more specific name, gastroesophageal reflux disease)? This happens when stomach acid is able to move into your esophagus because the “door” between stomach and esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter in specific) become less functional.
Prevalence in Malaysia
There are quite limited amount of research about the prevalence in Malaysia, so we took average from only 3 studies (with relatively small sample size) from 2006, which is 6.8%. But be noted that 50% of Malaysians are estimated to have at least one gastrointestinal condition AND acid reflux is one of the most common form.
Only two major symptoms for you to take note on, which are:
- Heartburn. You will feel a burning pain that move from your stomach to abdomen or chest that may even go up to your throat.
- Regurgitation. A sour or bitter tasting stuff (which is the food you just eaten in!) go up into your throat or mouth.
- Pills. There are quite a number of medications over the counter. You can get pills that neutralize the acid, reduce acid production or even block acid production. All of which will relieve your pain but some comes with side effects
- Surgery. Surgeons will put devices or wrap around the “door” to prevent reflux
- Eat at least 2 to 3 hours before sleep
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight (if you are obese or overweight)
- Avoid tight clothing. Wearing them will apply pressure to your abdomen and the “door” which will get your situation worse.
- Don’t be too stressed. Although stress will not directly cause acid reflux but it will make the condition more severe.
To sum it all
Although acid reflux is not fatal, but it will pretty much affect your life quality which is also bad! Like usual, we encourage you to go to the doctors if you have this.
- Goh, K.L. and Wong, C.H. (2006). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: An Emerging Disease in Asia. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2(2), 118-123.
- Jung, H.K. (2011). Epidemiology of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Asia: A Systematic Review. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 17(1), 14-27.
- Kasmiah, M. (2014, October 7). A burn in the belly. Retrieved 26 October 2019, from https://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/burn-belly
- Lee, H.B. (2014, November 23). Acid reflux explained. Retrieved 26 October 2019, from https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2014/11/23/acid-reflux-explained
- MayoClinic. (2019, October 23). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Diagnosis & treatment. Retrieved 26 October 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20361959
- WebMD. (2008, October 7). What Is Acid Reflux Disease? Retrieved 26 October 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/what-is-acid-reflux-disease#1
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