Our Gastroenterology Blog
Posts for tag: Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a condition that affects many adults at one time or another. Acid reflux is formally referred to as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD for short. Acid reflux occurs when fluids in the stomach flow back up into the esophagus because the valve between the stomach and esophagus does not close properly. The result is often a burning sensation in the throat, otherwise known as heartburn. The professionals at Gastrointestinal Specialists are your Bala Cynwyd, PA, gastroenterologists for the treatment of acid reflux.
Causes and Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can be caused by a number of different factors, from certain foods and beverages to specific health conditions. Examples of foods that can cause acid reflux include tomato sauce, peppermint, chocolate, and fatty foods. Beverages likely to cause acid reflux include coffee, citrus drinks, and alcohol when drank in excess. Conditions associated with chronic acid reflux include pregnancy and obesity. Additionally, smoking can also cause acid reflux as well.
One of the most common symptoms of acid reflux is heartburn, which is associated with a burning sensation in the throat or chest area. The burning sensation occurs when stomach fluids flow back up and reach the mouth. Lying down can make heartburn worse by increasing the burning sensation. Other symptoms associated with acid reflux include regurgitation, a bitter taste in the mouth, belching, a sore throat, and a dry cough.
Treating Acid Reflux
Several options exist for treating acid reflux. Treatment is especially important for individuals experiencing chronic or severe acid reflux as over-the-counter antacids might not be strong enough to stop the acid reflux from recurring. If you are dealing with chronic or severe acid reflux, one of the Bala Cynwyd, PA, gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists could prescribe an effective treatment for you, such as a prescription strength antacid or a proton pump inhibitor, which works by blocking the final step of acid production in the stomach.
Acid reflux can cause extensive discomfort, especially if it is chronic or severe. Fortunately, several options exist for effectively treating acid reflux. To schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist in Bala Cynwyd, PA, contact the Gastrointestinal Specialists at (610) 664-9700. For the Bucks County office, call (215) 702-7090 or for Torresdale, call (215) 632-3500.
Do you experience frequent acid reflux? The gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Bala Cynywd, Bucks and Torresdale, PA, discuss the condition and explain treatment options.
What causes acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when acids flow out of your stomach and irritate the sensitive lining of your esophagus. The condition can occur if the sphincter that separates your esophagus and stomach doesn't close completely or is faulty. You may be more likely to experience acid reflux if you are pregnant, have a hiatal hernia, are overweight, smoke or use alcohol, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise too soon after eating.
The foods you eat and the medications you take can also increase your risk. Garlic, onions, spicy and fatty foods, chocolate, citrus fruits and tomatoes may trigger acid reflux. It can also occur as a side effect of certain medications, including some high blood pressure medications, ibuprofen or aspirin.
What can I do about acid reflux?
Have you noticed that certain actions, such as exercising immediately after a meal or drinking a big glass of orange juice with breakfast, cause your symptoms? If you can identify the triggers, reducing acid reflux can be as simple as eliminating the factors that cause the condition. Heartburn, nausea, regurgitation, burping and other acid reflux problems can occur more frequently if you sleep flat on your back. Elevating the head of your bed will help prevent acid from flowing back into your esophagus.
Taking over-the-counter antacids and other medications that decrease the production of acid can be helpful if you have acid reflux. If your symptoms continue or worsen, make a visit to our Bala Cynwyd, Bucks or Torresdale offices. An endoscopy, a test that looks inside your esophagus and stomach, may be recommended if you have chronic acid reflux. During the endoscopy, your gastroenterologist passes a flexible scope that contains a miniature camera into your mouth. The camera transmits images of the lining of your stomach and esophagus to a digital screen.
Based on the results of your endoscopy, your gastroenterologist may prescribe medications that lower the amount of acid your stomach produces, such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors. Prokinetics may also be prescribed. The drugs make your esophageal sphincter stronger and also helps food travel through your stomach faster. If more conservative treatment options aren't helpful, surgery may be recommended in some cases.
Effective treatment options can improve your acid reflux symptoms. Schedule an appointment with the gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists by calling (610) 664-9700 for the Bala Cynwyd office, (215) 702-7090 for the Bucks office or (215) 632-3500 for the Torresdale office.