Acid Reflux: Identifying the Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Acid Reflux: Identifying the Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid moves backward up into the esophagus. During an episode of acid reflux, you may taste sour liquid in your mouth or experience a burning sensation in your chest known as heartburn. Sometimes, simple acid reflux in Port Chester can progress to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, which impacts your quality of life and results in long-term complications. 

 Causes of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or heartburn can be triggered by a lot of things such as fatty and acidic foods including chocolate, tomatoes, fruits, peppermint, cheese, and coffee. Also, big meals and foods can trigger heartburn. Some people can experience episodes when they take aspirin or ibuprofen as well as blood pressure medicines and sedatives. Obesity and pregnancy can also trigger the condition because of the added pressure on the stomach. Factors that contribute to GERD include abnormalities in the lower esophageal sphincter, slow emptying of the stomach, Hiatal hernias, or abnormal contractions in the esophagus. 

How to Know You Have Acid Reflux?

Often, symptoms of acid reflux start shortly after eating. They may persist for several hours or disappear in minutes. Apart from burning in the chest, coughing, a sour taste in the mouth, and hoarseness can also be experienced. Lying down or bending over can cause your heartburn to get worse since they make it easier for your stomach to move into your esophagus. Acid reflux symptoms must be monitored and discussed with a doctor since they can indicate a more severe condition like esophageal cancer, hiatal hernia, or heart disease. Also, when simple reflux worsens and becomes GERD, complications can include ulcers, Barrett’s esophagus, cough, and asthma. 

How to Treat Heartburn

Treatment for heartburn usually begins with making lifestyle changes. These include avoiding foods that trigger the issue, eating smaller, more frequent meals, and not lying down right after eating. For mild acid reflux, over-the-counter antacids may help. Also, a doctor could recommend a proton pump inhibitor or H2 blocker. 

If you have been taking medications for acid reflux frequently, you have probably developed GERD, which is a more serious form of acid reflux. In this case, you may need to get an X-ray or endoscopy to determine if you experience GERD-related symptoms. If your condition does not improve after taking pump inhibitors or H2 blockers, you may need pH testing or tests for your esophagus’ motility. Also, you can be a candidate for surgery. 

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