Bed WedgePillow-Positional Therapy is an Immediate Remedy for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux disease is a chronic condition but you can use a bed wedge pillow at night to help you sleep.
When we eat, the contents in the stomach normally travel into the intestines with the aid of digestive muscle contractions and digestive acid breaking down the food. However, for those who have acid reflux disease, the digestive contents travel back into the esophagus including the stomach acid. And while the stomach is equipped to handle acid, the esophagus is not. An acid reflux patient can suffer inflammation in the throat which may also be associated with pains in the abdomen and breastbone (heartburn). Other symptoms include dyspepsia, vomiting, regurgitation, and respiratory-related problems. One aid to prevention of acid reflux at night is the bed wedge pillow.
Acid reflux is a chronic health condition. Once started it can transmit problems to the upper body including the esophagus the throat, the bronchial system, and mouth. In a lot if cases it is not curable and can continue indefinitely. Although treatments are available to alleviate acid reflux symptoms they also have to be taken indefinitley. Symptoms of acid reflux will go away but also return if we do not keep up treatment and/or lifestyle changes.
The act of stomach liquids backing up into the esophagus is actually normal. It happens to most people including those without acid reflux disease. In the case of acid reflux patients, however, the stomach contents usually have more stomach acid than the normal and the acid tends to stay in the esophagus for a longer period of time.
The human body, of course, has its own mechanisms to lessen the harmful effects brought about by the refluxed acids. An example of such is the salivary glands found in the mouth. These glands produce saliva, a liquid which contains bicarbonate a natural neutralizer of acid. When we swallow, the saliva containing bicarbonates passes through the esophagus and aids in neutralizing the stomach acids.
Bicarbonates having the ability to neutralize acids, will also act on acid in the esophagus which has been regurgitated, and when swallowing the saliva and the effect of the esophageal muscles push any trapped acid in the esophagus back into the stomach. As studies have shown, most cases of reflux happen during daytime when individuals are usually in an upright position. And another natural cure which works when we are sitting or standing is gravity. It works to minimize the effects of acid reflux by naturally allowing the contents to flow back into the stomach. So through the day when we are awake the natural effects of saliva, esophageal muscle contractions when swallowing and the effects of gravity work to alleviate acid reflux symptoms.
The mentioned natural ways of the body to protect itself are important in the maintenance of the esophagus. But saliva, swallowing, and gravity can only work when a person is in an upright position. At night when individuals are asleep, gravity cannot help much. Also the effects of saliva secretion are not so great and swallowing does not take place. It is for these reasons that the effects of acid reflux are greater at night and when most esophagus damage occurs, because stomach acids have the ability to lie longer in the esophagus and therefore do more damage to it.
Positional therapy using a bed wedge pillow
There are natural ways to help the body minimize the occurrences of acid reflux at night or if lying down during the day for that matter. One of the easiest methods to implement is positional therapy. This is done by elevating the head and the torso when in a sleeping position. Special shaped wedge pillows are readily available, and are used to elevate the sleeping or resting position by raising the head and torso about six to eight inches while in bed. This position can provide maximum effectiveness and allows the natural effects of gravity to again take place. Surveys have shown elevating the head of the bed by the use of inclined bed pillows can reduce reflux in mild to moderate acid reflux sufferers. Another study shows that by using a wedge pillow patients with acid reflux had a 67% improvement in the amount time it took for acid to clear from the esophagus after a heartburn attack.
The bed wedge pillow comes in different materials and sizes. A good cheap option is using foam wedges for bed. Many different designs of foam wedge pillow are on the market and can be bought online. The wedge pillow can also be made from tempurpedic or memory foam material. Tempurpedic pillows and memory foam pillows are a little more expensive but great for a good nights sleep without acid reflux.
Whatever your choice positional therapy is one treatment that is recommended for people who suffer from acid reflux disease and a bed wedge pillow is one of the easiest remedies to attain this.
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