NORMALLY considered a typical hiccup, Heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) are not harmless and in fact are attributed to obesity, a bad diet, and a lack of exercise. GERD, better known as acid reflux, is also a major symptom of diabetes, but many diagnosed Diabetics still suffer from Acid Reflux because of poor blood sugar control. GERD is also a common challenge for people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Recommended Reading: CKD Patients' High Rate Of Acid Reflux May Be Leading To Serious Complications
Despite its name, "heartburn" has nothing to do with the heart (although some of the symptoms are similar to a heart attack). Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus caused by acid that refluxes (comes up) from the stomach. Heartburn is also a symptom of the more serious, GERD.
Various lifestyle and dietary factors can contribute to heartburn and GERD including: Eating large meal portions; Eating certain high-fat or spicy foods such as onions, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, and tomatoes; drinking citrus juices, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and carbonated drinks; eating before bedtime or lying down after eating; being overweight; wearing tight-fitting clothing or belts; and stress.
Acid reflux should not be left untreated. WebMD notes that, "Not only can stomach acid in the esophagus cause heartburn, but it can also cause ulcers, strictures (narrowing) of the esophagus, and cancer of the esophagus." While 60 million Americans experience heartburn/GERD symptoms at least once each month, if heartburn symptoms occur frequently and persistently, as in many CKD and Diabetic patients, it may be a sign of a more serious problem, such as the chronic reflux GERD.
According to current research, well-managed CKD and Diabetes can prevent or minimize acid reflux and heartburn. It starts with the diet. Prolonged periods of very poorly planned Renal and Diabetic meals may result in GERD, which can lead to chronic reflux. Hence, you should focus on keeping your minerals and blood sugar at healthy levels and weight loss (if you are overweight or obese). Sticking to your recommended Renal and/or Diabetic Diet should go a long way in preventing acid reflux.
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O'Donnell, Jayne. "Acid Reflux or Diabetes? Illness Varies by Coverage." USA Today. Gannett, 03 Mar. 2014.
"Acid Reflux and Diabetes." Http://www.heartburnheadquarters.com/. Heartburn Remedies RSS.
"Heartburn and GERD: Picture, Symptoms, Causes, and More." Http://www.webmd.com/. WebMD