Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms, Causes, Tests, And Treatments

Get the basics about acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD. The action of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is perhaps the most important factor (mechanism) for preventing reflux. The esophagus is a muscular tube that extends from the lower throat to the stomach. The LES is a specialized ring of muscle that surrounds the lower-most end of the esophagus where it joins the stomach. The muscle that makes up the LES is active most of the time, that is, at rest. This means that it is contracting and closing off the passage from the esophagus into the stomach. This closing of the passage prevents reflux. When food or saliva is swallowed, the LES relaxes for a few seconds to allow the food or saliva to pass from the esophagus into the stomach, and then it closes again.

Esophageal motility testing determines how well the muscles of the esophagus are working. For motility testing, a thin tube (catheter) is passed through a nostril, down the back of the throat, and into the esophagus. On the part of the catheter that is inside the esophagus are sensors that sense pressure. A pressure is generated within the esophagus that is detected by the sensors on the catheter when the muscle of the esophagus contracts. The end of the catheter that protrudes from the nostril is attached to a recorder that records the pressure. During the test, the pressure at rest and the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter are evaluated. The patient then swallows sips of water to evaluate the contractions of the esophagus.

PPIs are used when H2 antagonists do not relieve symptoms adequately or when complications of GERD such as erosions or ulcers, strictures, or Barrett’s esophagus exist. Five different PPIs are approved for the treatment of GERD, including omeprazole (Prilosec, Dexilant), lansoprazole ( Prevacid ), rabeprazole ( Aciphex ), pantoprazole ( Protonix ), and esomeprazole ( Nexium ), and dexlansoprazole (Dexilant). this post A sixth PPI product consists of a combination of omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate ( Zegerid ). PPIs (except for Zegarid) are best taken an hour before meals. The reason for this timing is that the PPIs work best when the stomach is most actively producing acid, which occurs after meals. If the PPI is taken before the meal, it is at peak levels in the body after the meal when the acid is being made.

Since citrus juice doesn’t weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, it is likely that some of its constituents irritate the lining of the esophagus ( 44 ). Fatty foods (which should be decreased) and smoking (which should be stopped) also reduce the pressure in the sphincter and promote reflux. Nevertheless, further studies are needed before any strong conclusions can be made about the effects of chocolate on reflux symptoms. Silent Reflux (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux) Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) is similar to GERD but with varying symptoms. Read more about this digestive disorder.

pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus. People with severe, chronic esophageal reflux or with symptoms not relieved by the treatments described above may need more complete diagnostic evaluation. Doctors use a variety of tests and procedures to examine a patient with chronic heartburn. There are a variety of over-the-counter (for example, antacids and foam barriers) and prescription medications (for example, proton pump inhibitors, histamine antagonists, and promotility drugs) for treating GERD.

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