Acid Reflux And Feeling Weak And Tired
Acid Reflux And Feeling Weak And Tired: Fatigue is an overwhelming feeling that makes you tired all day long and unable to concentrate on your work or other activities. It’s usually accompanied by feelings like weakness, listlessness, exhaustion, lack of energy, inability to get going, and dullness. If it lasts longer than two weeks, it could be caused by something more serious such as cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems, depression, or another medical condition. In this article, we’ll look at what causes acid reflux and how it can make you feel weak and tired. Learn about treating acid reflux-related fatigue so you can return to your normal life.
Causes Of Acid Reflux Fatigue
When stomach contents move upward into the esophagus, they irritate the sensitive lining there. This allows some gastric fluid (acid) to enter the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which normally keeps stomach material from moving up into the esophagus. When the LES lets go, stomach acids flow upward through the esophagus. The result is painful burning sensations, particularly behind the breastbone. These symptoms are called gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD.
In most cases, GERD occurs when the LES opens too easily, allowing some of the stomach’s liquid content, including digestive juices, saliva, bile, and stomach mucus to pass back into the esophagus. As the stomach contents travel through the esophagus, they can mix with the air in the esophagus to form foam. This mixture irritates the esophagus’ soft lining. The resulting inflammation causes swelling, redness, and irritation, leading to discomfort. Pain can occur anywhere along the path where the esophagus meets the throat.
GERD often develops slowly over time, but sometimes it happens suddenly after surgery, injury, infection, pregnancy, obesity, medications, alcohol consumption, smoking, or hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is a protrusion of part of the upper abdomen above the diaphragm. Hiatal hernias are common in obese people and those who smoke. They develop when the pressure between the chest and abdominal organs is increased. When a hiatal hernia has formed, food does not stay in the stomach long enough to digest properly. Instead, the partially digested food moves back down the esophagus and into the stomach again.
People with GERD often experience one or more of these symptoms:
- tightness in the chest
- clearing of the throat
- sore throat
- voice changes
Treating Acid Reflux Fatigue With Over-the-counter Medicines
If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD, you’re probably experiencing mild symptoms now or you would have if left untreated. However, even though these symptoms aren’t severe, they disrupt your daily routine and make you uncomfortable. To relieve them, you need medicines that reduce the amount of acid in your stomach and ease the muscle contractions that push the stomach contents up into the esophagus.
The first step is to stop drinking caffeinated beverages three hours before bedtime. Caffeine stimulates muscles in the esophagus and lowers the pH level of the stomach fluids. Taking a sleep medication, such as pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, phenylephrine, promethazine, or dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM/ML) will help induce drowsiness without depressing your central nervous system.
Your doctor might prescribe antacids, such as calcium carbonate or magnesium hydroxide, that contain aluminum compounds. Aluminum has been shown to contribute to bone loss, especially among older women. Your physician should discuss whether taking calcium supplements is safe for you.
Medication options include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPI drugs decrease the production of hydrogen ions in the stomach, making the stomach less acidic. PPIs come in different strengths based on their ability to control the amount of acid the body produces.
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Most people notice relief within minutes of swallowing a pill; however, it takes several days for the full effect of any particular medicine to take hold. Because the esophagus is lined with a smooth film of mucous, the drug must dissolve completely before it reaches the esophagus. Swallowing only half a dose of a tablet or capsule can leave significant amounts of medicine undissolved in the esophagus. Also, stomach acid breaks down most prescription drugs. Even aspirin requires about four hours to begin working.
You should wait until you finish eating before taking any type of medication.
If you don’t see results after trying over-the-counter medicines, consult your doctor. He or she may recommend endoscopy, a diagnostic test in which an instrument with a lighted tip is inserted through the nose or mouth and threaded through the esophagus into the stomach. An x-ray image made during endoscopy shows the extent of damage done to the esophagus.
Reflex tests can diagnose GERD. One involves putting a balloon inside the stomach via a catheter passed through the nose and down into the stomach. After inflating the balloon, you swallow a small snack. Within five minutes, the balloon rises if the stomach contains acid. Another method uses a wireless transmitter attached to the outside of the abdomen. Radio waves transmitted by the transmitter reach the receiver worn around the waist. If acid exists in the stomach, the signal strength decreases.
Endoscopic treatment of GERD includes injection therapy using botulinum toxin. Botox reduces the sensitivity of the esophagus’ nerves, decreasing its responsiveness to signals produced when stomach contents enter the esophagus.
Surgery is recommended for patients whose GERD symptoms do not improve with the use of available treatments. Surgical procedures used to treat GERD include fundoplication, in which the top part of the stomach wraps around the lower portion. This prevents it from folding over onto itself and pressing against the esophagus.
Complications from GERD include Barrett’s esophagus, which is a squamous cell carcinoma developing in the muscular layer of the esophagus. Other complications include strictures, which are narrowing of the esophagus caused by scar tissue formation; esophagitis, which is inflammation of the esophagus; and bleeding ulcers, which occur in areas where inflammation or injury have weakened the protective mucous membrane of the esophagus.
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