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Acid Reflux

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
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What Is Acid Reflux Disease?
At the entrance to your stomach is a valve, which is a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally, the LES closes as soon as food passes through it. If the LES doesn't close all the way or if it opens too often, acid produced by your stomach can move up into your esophagus. This can cause symptoms such as a burning chest discomfort called heartburn. If acid reflux symptoms happen more than twice a week, you may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).


What Causes Acid Reflux Disease?
One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.

These are other common risk factors for acid reflux disease:
Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal.
Being overweight or obese.
Eating a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending over at the waist.
Snacking close to bedtime.
Eating certain foods, such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods.
Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
Smoking
Being pregnant.
Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications.


What Are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease?
Common symptoms of acid reflux are:
Heartburn: A burning pain or discomfort that may move from your stomach to your abdomen or chest, or even up into your throat
Regurgitation: A sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth
Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include:
Bloating
Bloody or black stools or bloody vomiting
Burping
Dysphagia -- the sensation of food being stuck in your throat
Hiccups that don't let up
Nausea
Weight loss for no known reason
Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat


How Is Acid Reflux Disease Diagnosed?
It's time to see your doctor if you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if medications don't bring lasting relief. Symptoms such as heartburn are the key to the diagnosis of acid reflux disease, especially if lifestyle changes, antacids, or acid-blocking medications help reduce these symptoms. If these steps don't help or if you have frequent or severe symptoms, your doctor may order tests to confirm a diagnosis and check for other problems. You may need one or more tests such as these:
Barium swallow (esophagram) can check for ulcers or a narrowing of the esophagus. You first swallow a solution to help structures show up on an X-ray.
Esophageal manometry can check the function and movement of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.
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.
Endoscopy can check for problems in your esophagus or stomach. This test involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera down your throat. First, the doctor will spray the back of your throat with anesthetic and give you a sedative to make you more comfortable.
A biopsymay be taken during endoscopy to check samples of tissue under a microscope for infection or abnormalities.


Can Acid Reflux Disease Be Treated With Diet and Lifestyle Changes?
One of the most effective ways to treat acid reflux disease is to avoid the foods and beverages that trigger symptoms. Here are other steps you can take:
Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and modify the types of foods you are eating..
Quit smoking.
Put blocks under the head of your bed to raise it at least 4 inches to 6 inches.
Eat at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down.
Try sleeping in a chair for daytime naps.
Don't wear tight clothes or tight belts.
If you're overweight or obese, take steps to lose weight with exercise and diet changes.
Also, ask your doctor whether any medication could be triggering your heartburn or other symptoms of acid reflux disease.


Can Acid Reflux Disease Be Treated With Medications?
In many cases, lifestyle changes combined with over-the-counter medications are all you need to control the symptoms of acid reflux disease. Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Riopan, can neutralize the acid from your stomach. But they may cause diarrhea or constipation, especially if you overuse them. It's best to use antacids that contain both magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. When combined, they may help counteract these gastrointestinal side effects. If antacids don't help, your doctor may try other medications. They require prescription. Your doctor may suggest more than one type or suggest you try a combination of medications such as these:
Foaming agents (Gaviscon) coat your stomach to prevent reflux.
H2 blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac) decrease acid production.
Proton pump inhibitors (Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix) also reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes.
Prokinetics (Reglan, Urecholine) can help strengthen the LES, empty your stomach faster, and reduce acid reflux.
Don't combine more than one type of antacid or other medications without your doctor's guidance.


Is Acid Reflux Disease Ever Treated With Surgery?
If medications don't completely resolve your symptoms of acid reflux disease and the symptoms are severely interfering with your life, your doctor could recommend surgery. There are two types of surgical treatment used to relieve symptoms of GERD if daily use of medication isn't effective.

The most recently approved procedure involves surgically placing a ring known as a LINX device around the outside of the lower end of the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. The ring consists of magnetic titanium beads held together by titanium wires. The device helps reflux by preventing stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. In one study, patients were able to stop taking medicine or cut down the amount they took. You shouldn't get the LINX device if you're allergic to certain metals, and once you have a LINX device you shouldn't get any type of MRI test.

Another surgical procedure called a fundoplication can help prevent further acid reflux. It creates an artificial valve using the top of your stomach. The procedure involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the LES to strengthen it, prevent acid reflux, and repair a hiatal hernia. Surgeons perform this procedure through either an open incision in the abdomen or chest or with a lighted tube inserted through a tiny incision in the abdomen.



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Common Problems Home Remedies

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
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Common Problems Home Remedies

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GERD - 4 Ways To Treat It!

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
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Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refers to a health condition wherein the stomach acids tend to leak backwards from your stomach into the oesophagus, causing the latter to experience a good amount of irritation, thereby triggering a number of other problems. GERD has a way of affecting people irrespective of their age or gender. Patients who suffer from asthma are at greater risks of encountering the problem of GERD, and some asthma medicines tend to worsen reflux symptoms. However, the effects are indeed two-way in this regard. Acid reflux worsens asthma symptoms by deeply affecting the lungs and airways. Allergic reactions might also be brought about as a result of such a condition.

Symptoms

GERD is a condition that everyone has experienced at one point or the other in their lives. It generally happens when on burping you are left with a bit of an acid taste that lingers in your mouth, followed simultaneously by a case of heartburn. A sure way to ascertain this condition is to check for the following symptoms:

Sudden and excessive rise in saliva
Acid regurgitation
Gums show inflammation
Sore throat that is chronic
Bad breath
Cavities
Encountering pain or difficulty while swallowing
Hoarseness or laryngitis
Chest pain
How can it be treated?

The prime treatment measure for GERD is to adopt necessary lifestyle changes so that you may nurture better health. In case you happen to be overweight, it is important that you look into the matter of weight loss.

Medicines must be taken along with a lot of water, and doctors must ensure that prescribed medications do not actually worsen your heartburn.

Over-the-counter medications and antacids can be used every once in a while after meals, but it does one good to remember that the effects don’t last for long. Side effects of excessive dosage of antacids include constipation or diarrhoea.

Proton pump inhibitors might also be recommended in acute cases of GERD to reduce the total amount of acid that is manufactured in your stomach. H2 blocker is another antidote that aims at reducing the level of acid that is released in your stomach.

Anti-reflux surgery is also prescribed for those people whose symptoms persist despite a change in medications and lifestyle patterns. An endoscopic surgery is another important procedure that may be opted for in order to correct GERD.

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Foods That May Cause Acidity

Dr. Shivam Jain # Oral Radiologist
HelloDox Care
Consult

Here are some foods that may cause acidity-

- Caffeine: A cup of coffee or tea in a day is fine; however, more than that may lead to acid reflux, due to excess caffeine content in them. The consumption of caffeine leads to an increased secretion of gastric acid in the stomach causing acidity. Never drink tea or coffee on an empty stomach.

- Citrus Fruits (Only when eaten on an empty stomach): Fruits are undoubtedly healthy; however, some of the citrus fruits can cause acidity especially when eaten on an empty stomach. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, tomato, berries, et al are highly acidic and may cause heartburn. Never consume these fruits on an empty stomach as it will only worsen the case.

- Soda: Soda and other carbonated drinks are responsible for causing acid in the stomach. The increased pressure of bubbles further contributes to reflux. In fact, soda has caffeine too, which can contribute in causing acidity.

- Alcohol: Various alcoholic beverages like beer and wine not only increase the gastric acid in the stomach, but also dehydrate the body causing major acid formation.

- Fatty Foods: They are highly acidic in nature plus they tend to stay for longer in the stomach, increasing the chances of acidity. Instead, switch to lean meats and baked foods for a healthier stomach.

- Spicy Foods: Excess consumption of spicy foods can wreak havoc on your health. Chilies, garam masala and pepper are all acidic in nature. Eating them frequently may cause acid reflux.

- Chocolate: They may taste heavenly, but it could prove to be quite a culprit when it comes to your tummy. It contains caffeine and other stimulants like theobromine that causes reflux. It is high in fat content, which also causes #acidity and its excess cocoa content which is also responsible for promoting reflux.

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