Acid Reflux & Gerd With GastroMed Connect

What is acid reflux?

When a person swallows liquids or foods, it passes from the esophagus into the stomach. Between the esophagus and stomach is a muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle closes and opens, allowing food to pass through into the stomach.

All individuals have acid in their stomachs to help digest the food they eat. Unfortunately, if the lower esophageal sphincter does not close completely, it can allow some of the acid to move back up into the esophagus, possibly doing harm and/or causing chronic acid reflux. That is when “heartburn” occurs from acid reflux because the acid creates a burning sensation. At GastroMed Connect, our board-certified gastrointestinal providers routinely help manage acid reflux and can help relieve heartburn and other symptoms. If you are seeking acid reflux treatment in Kyle, TX, reach out to a location near you today.

What are the causes of acid reflux or heartburn?

Even though acid reflux is quite common, there is no one specific cause of acid reflux. Many components could play a part in the weakening of the LES, allowing acid from our stomach to then flow in reverse into the digestive tract. Acid reflux might be caused by some medications, foods, pre-existing conditions, or some activities after the consumption of food. Varying circumstances might impact a person’s reflux in very different ways. Examples of frequent factors contributing to acid reflux might include:

  • Eating a heavy meal then lying down
  • Pregnancy
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Certain medications (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, and those for blood pressure)
  • A weak or sub-optimal LES
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Caffeine
  • Fatty or spicy foods
  • Being a smoker
  • Chocolate, citrus fruits, peppermint, tomatoes, black pepper, garlic, and raw onions
  • Alcohol (red wine in particular)
  • Low-fiber diet

To discuss these possible acid reflux triggers or to discuss your acid reflux with a skilled GI specialist in Kyle, TX, contact a GastroMed Connect location near you.

What are common acid reflux symptoms?

Oftentimes, acid reflux is referred to as heartburn. Typical symptoms of acid reflux may include:

 

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
  • Pain in the chest
  • Bloating
  • The feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Dysphagia

 

If you are experiencing these symptoms persistently, then you may be suffering from a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If that is the case, we urge you to reach out to a GastroMed Connect specialist as soon as possible.

How do I relieve acid reflux?

The most effective way to relieve acid reflux is to reach out to a board-certified GI provider in Kyle, TX. However, there are some changes in lifestyle that you can implement that may help lessen the frequency and severity of your symptoms. These might include (but are not limited) to:

  • Eating in moderation and at a slow speed
  • Losing weight (if overweight)
  • Consistently standing or sitting upright after eating
  • Limiting your intake of caffeine
  • Sleeping at an incline with your head raised above your feet
  • Avoiding “trigger” foods and beverages
  • Disclosing to your GI provider about the current medications you are taking
  • Stopping smoking
  • Not eating for, at minimum,120 minutes before laying down to sleep

 

At GastroMed Connect, we want to help you reach optimal health in all aspects of life. If you need assistance in determining what changes to your lifestyle need to be made or what treatment options are best for you, please contact one of our local providers to request a private consultation.