I Deal with Acid Reflux Daily: Can You Help?

 I Deal with Acid Reflux Daily: Can You Help?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, affects 15-30% of the population. If you have it, you’re certainly not alone. While everyone has heartburn from time to time, you may have a more serious problem if you experience it a couple of times a week.

It can be highly uncomfortable if you have acid reflux every day. These symptoms can interfere with your life and make you feel miserable. Dr. Michael Sutker explains more about helping you cope with the symptoms of acid reflux.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, happens when the sphincter that closes your lower esophagus is weak. This allows your stomach acid to reflux into your throat, which causes your throat to feel burned by the stomach acid. The esophagus is like a tube that runs from your throat to your stomach.

GERD can affect virtually anyone, including babies. But some people are more likely than others to experience it. You may be more likely to have GERD if any of the following apply to you:

If you have acid reflux, you may have the following symptoms:

However, many people don’t seek medical attention for GERD, so we don’t know exactly how many people suffer from the condition. If you have it, you should seek medical attention.

How to manage acid reflux 

Acid reflux can be managed by making a few lifestyle changes. Some of the recommended changes include the following:

Some foods most commonly associated with acid reflux symptoms include spicy foods, onions, garlic, citrus, fatty foods, and chocolate.

Consequences of untreated acid reflux

You may think that if you have acid reflux, it’s no big deal. But there are some potentially serious consequences of untreated acid reflux. If you have untreated acid reflux, you may experience the following:

These consequences of acid reflux can be dire, so you should seek treatment as soon as possible.

How to treat acid reflux

We can do many things to treat GERD. You may start with using over-the-counter medications to get some relief. 

You may also get a variety of tests. These tests include the following:

Endoscopy

This procedure involves putting a fiber-optic tube down your throat so that the doctor can look at the inside of your throat and your stomach. You’ll be under anesthesia during this procedure, so you won’t feel anything. The doctor can take samples of the tissue in your throat or stomach for further evaluation.

Upper GI series X-rays

You’ll have to drink a solution called barium. Then the doctor will order a series of X-rays of your upper gastrointestinal tract. This can discover problems such as a hiatal hernia or an ulcer that may cause your symptoms.

Esophageal monitoring

This test measures the amount of acid your stomach produces over 24 hours.

Manometry

This test measures the rhythmic muscle contractions that occur in your esophagus when you swallow and reveals if any abnormalities are present.

Surgery

If you have had the above tests and we don’t find the cause of your symptoms, Dr. Sutker offers three surgical options that can treat your acid reflux:

Fundoplication

In this procedure, the stomach is wrapped around itself to recreate the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to allow food to go down and prevent acid from going up.

Magnetic sphincter augmentation 

This surgical procedure places a magnetic device (Linx) is placed at the bottom of the esophagus as an artificial valve.

Gastric bypass

This is an excellent operation for reflux and weight loss and may be an option for someone who has failed a previous reflux operation.

If you have the symptoms of acid reflux, you should always take them seriously. You should seek urgent medical attention if you have any symptoms that may indicate a medical emergency, such as chest pain. Contact Dr. Michael Sutker today or request an appointment online.

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