No. 4: Acid Reflux and GERD
Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents moves backward into the esophagus. it is also called acid regurgitation gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Acid reflux is a common digestive condition. According to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), more than 60 million Americans experience acid reflux at least once a month. More than 15 million Americans experience it every day.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
The muscle at the end of the esophagus is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a one-way valve that normally opens for a limited amount of time when you swallow. Acid reflux occurs when the LES does not properly or tightly enough. A faulty or weakened LES allows digestive juices and stomach contents to rise back up into the esophagus. Large meals that cause the stomach to stretch a lot can temporarily loosen the LES. Other factors associated with reflux include:
- Hiatal hernia (when part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm)
- Consuming particular foods (particularly carbonated beverages, coffee, and chocolate)
If you notice that your acid reflux only occurs with certain foods, try eliminating them from your diet. Some people also find that sitting up straight during and after eating improves their symptoms.
No. 5: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a chronic digestive disease. It affects people of all ages, including children. It is more serious form of GER and can eventually cause more serious health problems if left untreated. Acid reflux that occurs more than twice a week and causes inflammation of the esophagus is considered to be GERD. Most people with GERD experience symptoms such as:
- Trouble swallowing
- A feeling of excessive fullness
Consult your doctor if you have symptoms, or use over-the-counter (OTC) antacids of reflux medications for more than two weeks.
No. 6: Tumor (Throat cancer)
Men are more likely to cause throat cancer than women. Certain lifestyle habits increase the risk of developing cancer of the throat, including:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Exposure to asbestos
- Poor dental hygiene
Throat cancer is also associated with certain types of human papillomavirus infections (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. HPV infection is a risk factor for certain oropharyngeal cancers, according to the Cancer Treatment Center of America. Throat cancer has also been linked to other types of cancers. In fact, some people diagnosed with throat cancer are diagnosed with esophageal, lung, or bladder cancer at the same time. This is typically because cancers often have the same risk factors, or because cancer that begins in one part of the body can spread throughout the body in time. To check for throat cancer, your doctor will perform a direct or an indirect laryngoscopy or will refer you to a specialist for the procedure. A laryngoscopy gives your doctor a closer view of your throat. If this test reveals abnormalities, your doctor may take a tissue sample from your throat (called a biopsy) and test the sample for cancer.