41-Year-Old Male Diagnosed with Acid Reflux Disease
One of the most common digestive disorders is acid reflux disease. Acid reflux disease occurs when the esophagus is no longer strong enough to handle stomach acid. When one has acid reflux disease, acid flows back into the esophagus from the stomach (Smith, 2013). This backflow of acid is known as heartburn due to the burning sensation in the chest. Many people experience heartburn occasionally but acid reflux diseases is marked by symptoms occurring two to three times per week (Smith, 2013). As well as symptoms occurring often, over the counter medication is not helpful with acid reflux disease.
The exact cause of acid reflux disease is unknown. The risk factors for acquiring this disorder include: obesity, overeating, eating nutritionally poor foods, eating specific combinations of foods, and abnormalities in the digestive system. Some of the risk factors include lifestyle elements such as sedentary lifestyle and stress.
There are many methods of treating acid reflux including prescription medications and surgery (Smith, 2013). Because there is no single cause of acid reflux disease, lifestyle changes can prevent or control acid reflux disease. For instance, acid reflux is treatable by eating less and more healthy foods (Smith, 2013).
Acid reflux is also present in individuals with high stress levels. By curbing stress once can reduce or eliminate acid reflux. Exercise can lower stress by relaxing the body, allowing an outlet for releasing tension or frustration, and lowering blood pressure (Donatelle, 2011).
Real lifestyle changes must occur from individual thinking and lifestyle practices. For instance, one can reduce stress and acid reflux by recognizing the cause of the stress and changing one’s response to it (Donatelle, 2011). There are practices such as meditation and relaxation techniques which can also reduce stress (Donatelle, 2011). The incorporation of these different techniques can decrease digestive disorders by relieving the stress response and allowing the body to return to its natural function.
In this sample case a 41 year old male was diagnosed with Acid reflux disease. There were several risk factors present in the patients history including: high stress job, poor diet, lack of exercise, and overweight. There was no family history of the disease present.
The patient came to the clinic complaining of burning esophagus and sour stomach. Acid reflux was determined to be the problem through length of time with symptoms. The patient was prescribed Prilosec to reduce stomach acid,
Due to the age and lifestyle factors associated with the patient, a healthier diet and continued use of Prilosec are recommended. The patient was also referred to a dietician in order to assist in developing a better diet. Exercise and other lifestyle changes were also recommended. A change in diet and lifestyle is also necessary to manage symptoms. Patient was also told that continued acid reflux may create a situation where surgery is necessary in order to repair the esophagus.
The patient has a wife and one child and appears to have support from family. Changes in lifestyle will require diet and exercise which benefits from family support.
The case study highlights the importance of prevention of acid reflux disease. One of the major risk factors for this disease is stress. One of the ways in which people cope with stress is by exercising. Exercise can lower stress by relaxing the body, allowing an outlet for releasing tension or frustration, and lowering blood pressure (Donatelle, 2011). Aside from coping, people can reduce stress by recognizing the cause of the stress and changing one’s response to it. Once the stressor is recognized, which may take some practice, the person can change the way they perceive the problem. This coping strategy works well for social stress and environmental stress (Donatelle, 2011). There are a host of alternative treatments such as meditation and relaxation techniques which can also reduce stress (Donatelle, 2011). The incorporation of these different techniques can decrease digestive disorders by relieving the stress response and allowing the body to return to its natural function. For example, walking allows the body to relax and burns calories which allow the digestive system to function normally. Although acid reflux disease prevalent it can be controlled and prevented.
Donatelle, R. J. (2011). Health: The basics (Green ed.). Boston, MA: Benjamin Cummings.
Smith, M. W. (2013, June 28). Treating Heartburn With Over-the-Counter Drugs. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from WEBMD: http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/treating-heartburn-over-counter-medicine