What is water brash?
Water brash is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Sometimes it’s also called acid brash.
If you have acid reflux, stomach acid gets into your throat. This may make you salivate more. If this acid mixes with the excess saliva during reflux, you’re experiencing water brash.
GERD is an acid reflux disorder that causes stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach. Constant regurgitation can damage the lining of your esophagus.
GERD is a common condition that affects about 20 percent of Americans.
Left untreated, it can result in irreversible damage to the esophagus and potentially cause cancer.
Water brash is just one symptom of GERD.
Other common symptoms are:
- chest pain
- difficulty swallowing
- sore throat
- chronic cough, particularly at night
- lung infections
When you swallow food, it travels down the esophagus to your stomach. The muscle that separates the throat and stomach is the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When you eat, the LES relaxes to allow food to pass through. The LES closes once the food reaches your stomach.
If the LES weakens or becomes strained, stomach acid can flow back through your esophagus. This constant reflux can inflame the esophageal lining and trigger water brash or hypersalivation.
Certain foods — such as carbonated drinks and caffeine — can trigger GERD and water brash. If you experience GERD after eating certain foods, your doctor will recommend eliminating those foods from your diet.
Other factors contributing to GERD include:
- certain medications
- hiatal hernia, a condition that causes part of your stomach to bulge or push up into the diaphragm
GERD to ease water brash
Treating GERD will effectively ease your water brash symptoms.
One treatment method is to make lifestyle changes, like adding certain foods to your diet. Other such changes may include:
- eliminating chocolate, alcohol, and fatty foods from your diet
- increasing daily activity
- losing weight
- quitting smoking
- eating an early dinner
In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to strengthen the LES.
GERD can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms including water brash. This condition can be treated.
If you’re experiencing water brash, visit your doctor to discuss treatment options. You could be able to get rid of acid brash by making lifestyle changes. If these don’t work, medication may be required.