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Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

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Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Acid reflux is characterized typically by heartburn or burning in chest,  or acid taste in throat which is due to back flow of acidic stomach contents to the esophagus or food pipe from  the stomach. Acid reflux  develops when the valve at the lower part of the esophagus or food pipe does not close tightly with the stomach contraction allowing the acidic  stomach contents regurgitate or flow back causing damage. You might experience the following symptoms if you have acid reflux.

  • Burning in chest, or heart burn
  • Burning in throat or acid taste in throat
  • Stomach or chest pain
  • Heavy or raspy voice or sore throat
  • Unexplained cough

These symptoms are not something that should be ignored– particularly because it’s often a sign of an underlying condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This can lead to various health complications including:

  • heartburn
  • esophagitis
  • ulcers
  • difficulty swallowing
  • esophageal spasms
  • greater risk of esophageal cancer

Recommendations:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Raise head of bed by 6-8 inches (by putting blocks of wood or rubber under 2 legs of the bed or a Styloform wedge under the mattress)
  • Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse like coffee, chocolate , alcohol, peppermint or fatty food
  • Reduce amount of alcohol , stop smoking if you smoke
  • Avoid going to bed immediately after meal. Avoid lying down for 3 hrs after a meal

Seek immediate attention if you:

  • Have trouble swallowing , or feels as food stuck  on the way down
  • Lose weight when you are not trying to
  • Have chest pain
  • Choke when you eat
  • Vomit blood or have bowel movements that are black , or look like tar

Do you need treatment for acid reflux? Call Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!


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