Acid Reflux in Louisiana
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What exactly is acid reflux?
Anytime we consume food or liquids, they pass from our esophagus and into our stomach. In between our esophagus and stomach is a muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This opens and closes, permitting the passage of food into the stomach.
All individuals have stomach acid to assist in the digestion of their food. Unfortunately, if the lower esophageal sphincter fails to close all the way, it may allow some of the acid to move in reverse and up into the esophagus. The acid can cause harm to the esophageal lining, and create a burning sensation known as heartburn. At GastroGroup & Endocenter, our experienced gastrointestinal physicians regularly help manage acid reflux and can help reduce heartburn and other symptoms. If you need acid reflux treatment in Louisiana, reach out to our practice today.
What are the causes of acid reflux or heartburn?
Even though acid reflux is quite common, the primary cause hasn't been pinned down. There are many factors that contribute to a loss of strength in the lower esophageal sphincter. When this happens, it can enable the acid in the stomach to move back up the digestive tract. Acid reflux might be instigated by a variety of foods, medications, pre-existing conditions, or even activities after eating. Some of the causes of acid reflux can include:
- Bubbly beverages
- Consumption of alcohol (red wine in particular)
- Specific medications (such as ibuprofen, aspirin, those for blood pressure, and muscle relaxers)
- Spicy or fatty foods
- A weak or sub-optimal LES
- Peppermint, chocolate, raw onions, garlic, black pepper, tomatoes, citrus fruits
- Eating a heavy meal then lying down
- Being overweight or obese
- Hiatal hernia
- Low-fiber diet
What are the common symptoms of acid reflux?
Oftentimes, acid reflux is referred to as heartburn. Common symptoms may include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- The sensation of a lump in the throat
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- Chest pain
In the case that you're dealing with any of these symptoms on a regular basis, you may suffer from a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If that is the case, we urge you to contact a GastroGroup & Endocenter physician at your earliest convenience.
How do I relieve acid reflux?
The ideal way to relieve acid reflux is to reach out to a board-certified gastrointestinal doctor in Louisiana. However, there are some lifestyle changes that can be implemented that may assist in lessening the frequency and severity of symptoms. These might include (but are not limited) to:
- Stopping smoking
- Losing extra weight
- Sleeping at an incline with your head raised above your feet
- Limiting your intake of caffeine
- Eating in moderation and at a slow speed
- Not eating for, at minimum, two hours prior to bedtime
- Avoiding "trigger" beverages and foods
- Consistently standing or sitting upright after eating
- Disclosing to your gastroenterologist about the medication you are currently taking
What is the difference between acid reflux and GERD?
The majority of adults have felt the burning sensation of acid reflux at some time in their lives. However, GERD is the more serious and chronic type of acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is typically diagnosed when a person suffers from acid reflux more than two times a week and swelling is present in the esophagus. Should you have indications of acid reflux more than twice a week, please partner with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
You can find treatment for acid reflux
If consistent acid reflux or other troubling gastrointestinal effects arise, we urge you to receive help from a GI specialist. The distinguished specialists at GastroGroup & Endocenter strive to educate and care for patients with GI conditions like acid reflux and GERD. If you suspect GERD or need treatment for acid reflux in Louisiana, reach out to our office today to set up a consultation.
Acid Reflux FAQs
When should I see a GI specialist for acid reflux?
It is important to reach out to a gastroenterologist if you experience acid reflux two or more times a week, as this could mean you are experiencing GERD. GERD is a serious class of acid reflux that could cause damage to the upper gastrointestinal tract if untreated. The team at GastroGroup and Endocenter can review your symptoms and decide a diagnosis for the condition. We can help you determine acid reflux triggers to control your symptoms.
How long should it take acid reflux to clear up after starting treatments?
Acid reflux treatment generally includes a blend of medicine and changes in your diet. After you discover the proper treatment program, it can take between 1 – 3 weeks for your body to begin to heal, and the effects of treatment become noticeable.
Are there any foods and beverages I should avoid when I have acid reflux?
Some beverages and foods can trigger or increase your acid reflux symptoms. Some common items you may want to stay away from if you suffer from acid reflux include:
- Carbonated and caffeinated drinks (such as coffee, tea, soda, and seltzer)
- Foods high in fat
- Spicy foods
- Greasy foods
How can I relieve acid reflux without medication?
Even though there are OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription medicines that could help your acid reflux, there are also several options you can look into other than medication. Just a few of them are:
- If you are overweight, it might be wise to try to lose a bit of weight. Your GI provider may be able to work with you to develop a diet and exercise regimen tailored to your needs and goals
- Stop smoking cigarettes or additional tobacco products
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than the standard three larger meals. This can help you from becoming overly full, which can cause even more symptoms
- Try not to go to sleep directly after you’ve eaten. Our gastroenterologists suggest you keep from eating somewhere around three hours before going to sleep so the acid can remain inside your stomach as opposed to regurgitating into your esophagus
Shelley was very nice and explained everything so I understood it easily.
Your caring attention to my GI problem was much appreciated and you cured me of my miserable problem. Thanks.
First appointment with Dr. Albright. He took his time to explain my issues. I was not rushed. He answered all of my questions and put my mind at ease.
Dr. Jenkins shows care, concern, concentrates on what his patients relay and has the ability to interpret and administer.
I was in the hospital where i first met Dr Brandon Brousse. He came to visit me three times. He spoke to me and my wife and explained throughly. He was the first gastro doctor that i felt comfortable with. He has a plan and we are going with it.