Could your stomach discomfort or heartburn mean that you have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)? Your gastroenterologists here at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Torresdale, Bucks, and Bala Cynwyd, PA, can determine if you have either of these diseases and offer treatments that will relieve your symptoms.
What Is Acid Reflux?
If you have acid reflux, stomach acid flows backward into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. A sphincter between the esophagus and stomach normally prevents acid from escaping your stomach. If the sphincter is weak or doesn't function properly, acid may spill into your esophagus and irritate the sensitive lining.
If you have acid reflux, you may experience:
- Heartburn: Acid reflux can cause burning pain in your chest. You may also feel the pain in your stomach or throat.
- Sour Taste: An unpleasant taste in your mouth or chronic bad breath can be symptoms of acid reflux.
- Sore Throat: Your throat may feel sore, or you may experience hoarseness, a lump-in-the-throat sensation, or difficulty swallowing due to acid reflux.
- Other Symptoms: Acid reflux may also cause nausea, upper abdominal pain, burping, and bloating.
How Can I Tell If I Have Acid Reflux or GERD?
GERD occurs if acid reflux is a problem twice a week or more or if your symptoms begin to affect your daily activities. Your GERD risk may be higher if you are overweight, smoke, are pregnant, have a condition that delays the emptying of your stomach, or have a hiatal hernia, asthma, diabetes or a connective tissue disorder.
How Is Acid Reflux and GERD Treated?
During a visit to one of our offices in Torresdale, Bucks, or Bala Cynwyd, PA, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter and prescription medications that decrease or block stomach acid production or improve the functioning of the esophageal sphincter. Your doctor may use a test called an endoscopy to help them make a diagnosis. During the test, a thin, lighted scope that contains a lighted camera is inserted through your mouth and passed into your esophagus and stomach. Using this device, your gastroenterologist views real-time images of your stomach and esophageal lining during the test.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Ease your acid reflux or GERD symptoms with a visit to the gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Torresdale, Bucks or Bala Cynwyd, PA. Schedule an appointment by calling (215) 632-3500 for the Torresdale office, (215) 702-7090 for the Bucks office, or (610) 664-9700 for the Bala Cynwyd office.