Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: More Than Heartburn

Acid reflux occurs when the valve that connects the stomach to the esophagus, or food pipe, is weakened. When this happens, stomach acid flows back into the food pipe. Also, ask your doctor whether any medication could be triggering your heartburn or other symptoms of acid reflux disease. One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia.

Heartburn happens when the contents of your stomach rise up into your esophagus, where stomach acids can burn the tissue. Avoid vigorous exercise for a couple of hours after eating.

Visit our Acid Reflux / GERD category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Acid Reflux / GERD. Acid reflux is usually a mild but uncomfortable symptom of GERD. A number of medications are available over the counter (OTC) for heartburn and other symptoms of GERD.

It checks the food pipe (esophagus), the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). Your child will swallow a metallic fluid called barium. Barium coats the organs so that they can be seen on an X-ray. Then X-rays are taken to check for signs of sores or ulcers, or abnormal blockages.

If you have acid reflux, or even occasional heartburn after a spicy meal, you know that it can keep you awake tossing and turning. Here’s what I’ve learned about coping with acid reflux so it doesn’t get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Avoid alcohol.

what to do when u have acid reflux

Licorice helps increase the mucus coating of the esophageal lining, which helps calm the effects of stomach acid. However, there’s insufficient evidence to confirm the effectiveness of fennel, marshmallow root, or papaya tea. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and swallowing.

A pediatric gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats children who have digestive diseases, would do the surgery. Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy and biopsy, which uses an endoscope, a long, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end of it. The doctor runs the endoscope down your child’s esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

This approach, however, has the same problems as discussed above, that result from using the response to treatment to confirm GERD. The esophagus of most patients with symptoms of reflux looks normal.

To make this evaluation, while the 24-hour ph testing is being done, patients record each time they have symptoms. Then, when the test is being analyzed, it can be determined whether or not acid reflux occurred at the time of the symptoms. If reflux did occur at the same time as the symptoms, then reflux is likely to be the cause of the symptoms.

Information from the emptying study can be useful for managing patients with GERD. For example, if a patient with GERD continues to have symptoms despite treatment with the usual medications, doctors might prescribe other medications that speed-up emptying of the stomach. Alternatively, in conjunction with GERD surgery, they might do a surgical procedure that promotes a more rapid emptying of the stomach. Nevertheless, it is still debated whether a finding of reduced gastric emptying should prompt changes in the surgical treatment of GERD.

It is not clear whether they take the drugs because they continue to have reflux and symptoms of reflux or if they take them for symptoms that are being caused by problems other than GERD. The most common complication of fundoplication is swallowed food that sticks at the artificial sphincter. Fortunately, the sticking usually is temporary.

At least theoretically, this would allow easier opening of the LES and/or greater backward flow of acid into the esophagus when the LES is open. or refluxes) into the esophagus.

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