Acid Reflux: Treatment, Symptoms, Causes, Diet & Foods to Avoid
Find out why. Your doctor may talk with you about surgery for reflux.
Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) involves a stepwise approach. The goals are to control symptoms, to heal esophagitis, and to prevent recurrent esophagitis or other complications. The treatment is based on (1) lifestyle modification and (2) control of gastric acid secretion through medical therapy with antacids or PPIs or surgical treatment with corrective antireflux surgery.
You receive sedation then a flexible probe with a tiny camera on the end is passed down your throat. The camera allows the doctor to see damage to the esophagus, how severe the GERD is, and to rule out serious complications of GERD or unexpected diseases. This is a series of X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the intestine. You can start with your family or general practitioner (primary care provider). You may be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
This can cause symptoms such as a burning chest discomfort called heartburn. If acid reflux symptoms happen more than twice a week, you may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you have been using nonprescription medicines to treat your symptoms for longer than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the stomach acid could be causing damage to your esophagus.
(Pepsin is an enzyme that begins the digestion of proteins in the stomach.) The refluxed liquid also may contain bile that has backed-up into the stomach from the duodenum. Your doctor may prescribe acid-reducing medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Do discuss with your physician.
- Some people suffer from reflux symptoms during the night ( 48 ).
- Antacids that contain sodium bicarbonate can cause fluid to build up, so they should not be taken by pregnant women.
- Over-the-counter antacids are best for intermittent and relatively infrequent symptoms of reflux.
- But it is okay to use antacids that contain calcium carbonate (such as Tums).
- The amount of time that the esophagus contains acid is determined by a test called a 24-hour esophageal pH test.
- The US Food and Drug Administration approved the LINX Reflux Management System in March 2012.
First, the smaller meal results in lesser distention of the stomach. Second, by bedtime, a smaller and earlier meal is more likely to have emptied from the stomach than is a larger one. As a result, reflux is less likely to occur when patients with GERD lie down to sleep. Elevation of the upper body at night generally is recommended for all patients with GERD. Nevertheless, most patients with GERD have reflux only during the day and elevation at night is of little benefit for them.
Obesity and pregnancy can also play a role in GERD symptoms. Hiatal hernias usually do not require treatment.
This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when food or liquid travels from the stomach back up into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). This partially digested material is usually acidic and can irritate the esophagus, often causing heartburn and other symptoms. Surgery should be considered in patients with well-documented reflux disease who cannot tolerate medications or continue to have regurgitation as a primary symptom.