Open Accessibility Menu

Finding Relief for Acid Reflux

  • Category: Gastroenterology
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: St. John's Health
Finding Relief for Acid Reflux

Do you ever feel a burning sensation in your chest, or a sour taste in your throat after eating? If so, you may be among millions of Americans suffering from acid reflux. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), this condition can cause extreme discomfort, irritation, and frustration.

Symptoms of GERD, however, are manageable. Depending on the severity of the condition, you can find relief through a variety of different treatments — both at home and at your provider's office.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

When we eat a bite of food, it travels down our esophagus and into our stomach where it begins the digestion process. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly after swallowing, and acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. Common triggers of GERD include a diet high in fats and grease, smoking, alcohol consumption, pregnancy, obesity, and certain tissue disorders.

If left untreated for an extended period of time, this condition can cause severe inflammation, narrowing of the esophagus, and stomach ulcers.

Treating Acid Reflux

The first step in treating acid reflux is to identify the underlying causes. If lifestyle changes are needed, it is important to make them before any type of medical intervention. Some simple diet and lifestyle modifications include:

  • Eating smaller meals at regular intervals throughout the day
  • Avoiding acidic or spicy foods
  • Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding smoking
  • Wearing loose clothing
  • Weight loss, if needed
  • Staying well-hydrated

If lifestyle changes fail to provide adequate relief from acid reflux symptoms, your provider may recommend or prescribe medication. These can include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Surgical Options for GERD

Surgery is an option for cases where lifestyle changes and medications are insufficient. Our gastroenterology clinic will recommend the most suitable treatment approach if a fundoplication surgery is deemed necessary.

A fundoplication aims to strengthen, repair, or replace the lower esophageal sphincter valve through wrapping a portion of the stomach around the bottom of the esophagus. This can be done in a minimally invasive way thanks to a process called laparoscopy, resulting in a faster, less painful recovery process.

Find Your Gastroenterologist Today

If you’re experiencing ongoing symptoms of acid reflux, or other gastrointestinal disorders, our team at St. John's Health is here to provide you with compassionate, comprehensive care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin your treatment.