Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms, Causes, Tests, And Treatments

Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms. Occasional heartburn (acid reflux) can happen to anyone. Regurgitation is the appearance of refluxed liquid in the mouth. In most patients with GERD, usually only small quantities of liquid reach the esophagus, read the full info here and the liquid remains in the lower esophagus. Occasionally in some patients with GERD, larger quantities of liquid, sometimes containing food, are refluxed and reach the upper esophagus. For people who experience heartburn or indigestion infrequently, perhaps in association with occasional food and drink triggers, OTC treatments to reduce the acidity of the stomach contents are available.

The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, a strong acid that helps break down food and protect against pathogens such as bacteria. You can start with your family or general practitioner (primary care provider). You may be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If your symptoms are severe and require surgery, you will be referred to a general surgeon. Certain diagnostic tests for GERD are done by a radiologist. Newer treatments involve using implants (almost like a retaining wall) to keep acid from seeping out of the stomach. There’s not a lot of information yet on how safe they are or how well they work in the long run.

Finally, other common problems that may be causing GERD like symptoms can be diagnosed (for example ulcers, inflammation, or cancers of the stomach or duodenum) with EGD. Antacids provide rapid but short-term relief by reducing the acidity of the stomach contents. For infrequent heartburn, the most common symptom of GERD, life-style changes and an occasional antacid may be all that is necessary. If heartburn is frequent, daily non-prescription-strength (over-the-counter) H2 antagonists may be adequate. A foam barrier also can be used with the antacid or H2 antagonist.

It happens when some of the acidic stomach contents go back up into the esophagus. The lining of the esophagus does not share these resistant features and stomach acid can damage it. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Eating smaller meals puts less pressure on the stomach, which can prevent the backflow of stomach acids. By eating smaller amounts of food more frequently, you can reduce heartburn and eat fewer calories overall. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (also known as esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy or EGD ) is a common way of diagnosing GERD. EGD is a procedure in which a tube containing an optical system for visualization is swallowed. As the tube progresses down the gastrointestinal tract, the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum can be examined.

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