If you have acid reflux it’s important that you don’t ignore it.
Acid reflux and heartburn are more common than you might realize. In fact, about one out of five people will experience heartburn weekly and about two out of five will deal with this problem at least once a month. Wondering if you could be dealing with acid reflux? Our Rochester, NY, gastroenterologists Dr. Prasad Penmetsa, Dr. Surinder Devgun and Dr. Ari Chodos can provide you with the answers you’re looking for.
What are the warning signs of acid reflux?
The most common symptoms associated with acid reflux include,
Heartburn: a burning, gnawing sensation in the upper abdomen that may radiate to the throat (contrary to its name, heartburn does not affect the heart)
Regurgitation: this occurs when acid travels back up into the throat or mouth, resulting in a sour, burning taste
Dyspepsia: this involves a variety of stomach issues including abdominal pain, bloating, stomach fullness and pressure, nausea after eating and frequent burping
You may notice symptoms after a heavy or spicy meal, when lying down or if you eat right before bedtime. Women who are pregnant are also more likely to deal with acid reflux.
How can I treat acid reflux?
Infrequent acid reflux can often be alleviated through over-the-counter antacids. Of course, if you are dealing with this problem several times a week for more than three weeks you will want to turn to our Rochester, NY, GI doctor for more effective and long-term acid reflux treatment.
Along with medication, lifestyle changes can also greatly improve heartburn. These lifestyle changes include,
- Eating smaller meals more often
- Not eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
- Losing excess weight if you are overweight
- Avoiding wearing tight, restrictive clothing around your waist
- Quitting or avoiding smoking
- Avoiding or limiting trigger foods (e.g. alcohol; tomato sauce; citrus fruits)
Is acid reflux the same as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
While these problems are certainly interchanged quite a bit, they are different. While acid reflux alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have GERD, a digestive disorder that affects the esophageal sphincter, if you experience acid reflux symptoms more than two times a week then you could have GERD.
If you suspect that you have GERD it’s important that you seek problem treatment and care, as chronic and uncontrolled GERD can cause serious and long-term health problems.
Rochester Gastroenterology Associates has two offices in Rochester, NY, to serve you better. If you are dealing with persistent acid reflux that is affecting your quality of life then it’s time to call us today.