Acid Reflux in Washington
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What is acid reflux?
When we swallow liquids or foods, they pass through our esophagus and into our stomach. There is a muscle located between the esophagus and stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle opens and closes, allowing food to pass into the stomach.
Everyone has acid in their stomach to assist in the digestion of the food consumed. Unfortunately, when the lower esophageal sphincter fails to close completely, it can allow some of that acid to reverse back into the esophagus, sometimes causing damage or progressing to long-term acid reflux. We experience “heartburn” from acid reflux because the acid creates a burning sensation. At Washington Gastroenterology, our experienced gastroenterologists commonly help manage acid reflux and can help reduce heartburn and related symptoms. Please get in touch with our team today if you need acid reflux treatment in Washington.
What causes acid reflux or heartburn?
Even though acid reflux is quite common, there is no singular cause of reflux. Numerous factors can weaken the LES, allowing stomach acid to move back up the digestive tract. Acid reflux may be triggered by several foods, medications, pre-existing conditions, or activities following food consumption. Varying circumstances may impact a person's reflux in extraordinarily different ways. Some common causes of acid reflux might include the following:
- Being obese or overweight
- Having a weak or sub-optimal LES
- Consumption of alcohol (particularly red wine)
- Hiatal hernia
- Lying down quickly after eating
- Bubbly drinks
- Consuming caffeine
- Being a smoker
- Fatty or spicy foods
- Being or becoming pregnant
- Low-fiber diet
- Specific medications (such as ibuprofen, aspirin, muscle relaxers, and those for blood pressure)
- Tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, raw onions, garlic, black pepper, and peppermint
What are the common symptoms of acid reflux?
Commonly, acid reflux is referred to as heartburn. Common symptoms of acid reflux might include:
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- The feeling of a lump in the throat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain in the chest
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms regularly, you may suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If that is the case, we urge you to contact a Washington Gastroenterology provider today.
How do I relieve acid reflux?
The best and most successful method for relieving acid reflux is to contact a board-certified gastrointestinal specialist in Washington. However, there are some lifestyle changes that you can implement that might help lessen the severity and frequency of symptoms. These can include (but are not limited to):
- Avoiding "trigger" foods and beverages
- Sleeping at an incline with your feet lower than your head
- Limiting your intake of caffeine
- Losing weight (if overweight)
- Eating in moderation and at a slow pace
- Telling your GI specialist about the current medications you are taking
- Not eating for at least two hours before going to bed
- Being sure to stand or sit upright after eating
- Quitting smoking
What is the difference between acid reflux and GERD?
Most people have felt the burning sensation of acid reflux at some point in their lives. However, GERD is the more concerning and chronic type of acid reflux. GERD is most often diagnosed when you experience acid reflux more than twice per week combined with inflammation in the esophagus. If you have symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week, please speak with a GI provider at your earliest opportunity.
You can find treatment for acid reflux
If consistent acid reflux or other concerning GI symptoms arise, connect with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. The experienced providers at Washington Gastroenterology strive to educate and provide treatment for those with digestive issues like acid reflux and GERD. If you believe you may suffer from GERD or need help with acid reflux in Washington, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with a local gastroenterologist in your community.
Acid Reflux FAQs
When should I see a doctor for acid reflux?
It is time to consult a GI specialist if you experience symptoms of acid reflux a minimum of two times a week, as this could indicate you are encountering gastrointestinal reflux disease. GERD is a chronic kind of acid reflux that may damage your upper GI tract if not treated. The team of gastroenterologists at Washington Gastroenterology can review your current symptoms and decide a diagnosis for the condition. Our team may also help you discern your triggers to reduce its symptoms.
How long should it take acid reflux to resolve after finding the right treatment?
Treatment for acid reflux often comprises a blend of medicine and changes in diet. After you discover the correct treatment program that works for you, it might take three weeks or less until your body begins to heal and notice results.
Are there any foods and beverages I should avoid if I have acid reflux?
Particular foods and drinks can produce or increase your symptoms of acid reflux. A few foods you may want to think about avoiding if you have acid reflux include:
- Spicy foods
- Carbonated and caffeinated drinks (such as soda, seltzer, coffee, and tea)
- Fatty foods
- Foods with a lot of grease
What are some ways to relieve acid reflux without using medication?
Even though there are over-the-counter and prescription options that could help acid reflux, there are several treatments you can use that don’t include medication. Some of them include:
- Eat more meals but smaller amounts each day instead of three standard larger meals. This can help you avoid becoming overly full, which can create more acid reflux symptoms.
- Try not to go to bed as soon as you finish eating. It’s suggested that you refrain from eating three hours before bedtime so the acid will stay inside the stomach in contrast to regurgitating back up.
- If you are overweight or obese, it might be wise to consider losing weight. A physician may be able to work with you to create a plan considering you goals.
- Stop smoking cigarettes or additional tobacco products.
Very helpful and knowledgeable!
My procedure was on time, and the staff I met were all very professional. I appreciate their consideration for the patient.
Dr.Sellinger and all the staff at WAGO Are the best. Kind, considerate, efficient and the place is spotless. Highly recommend Dr.Sellinger.
Dr.Friedman was very approachable and quick to diagnose my condition. I was suffering for 14 days with terrible acid reflux and high BP. Doctor quickly got to the root cause by performing an endoscopy. Endoscopy was performed seamlessly and observations explained thoroughly. Before the endoscopy, I was very nervous and doctor provided the confidence and support needed.