Waldorf Office (301) 645-8035 Oxon Hill Office (301) 292-2300 Endoscopy Center (301) 861-3660 Pathology Lab (703) 893-0851
 
 
 
 
           
 
 

HEARTBURN, ACID REFLUX & GERD


Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. This may cause heartburn and may ultimately cause damage to the lining of the esophagus.

When you swallow, a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach, and then it closes again. Sometimes, however, this muscle relaxes abnormally or weakens causing stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus. Some acid reflux symptoms include tasting regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of your mouth or feeling a burning sensation in your chest, also known as heartburn. This backwash of acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus, causing it to become inflamed. Over time, the inflammation can erode the esophagus, causing complications such as bleeding or swallowing problems.

GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is when a person experiences chronic acid reflux.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux/GE

  • A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), sometimes spreading to the throat, along with a sour taste in your mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Dry cough
  • Hoarseness or sore throat
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflux)
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat

Risk Factors of Acid Reflux/GERD

  • Obesity
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Overeating
  • Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma

People who have GERD or experience acid reflux on a regular basis are at an increased risk of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. GERD can lead to precancerous changes in the esophagus, known as Barrett’s esophagus. These changes are associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. The risk of cancer is low, but your doctor will likely recommend regular endoscopy exams to look for early warning signs of esophageal cancer.

Tests to Diagnose Acid Reflux/GERD

When acid reflux becomes chronic, there are some procedures and tests that your doctor can perform to diagnose GERD.

  • Barium esophagram
    An X-ray of your upper digestive system. This procedure requires you to drink a chalky liquid that coats and fills the inside lining of your digestive tract. This allows the doctor to see the shape and condition of your esophagus, stomach and upper intestine.
  • Upper endoscopy
    By passing a flexible tube down your throat, an endoscopy allows the doctor to visually examine the inside of your esophagus. You doctor might also use the endoscopy to collect a sample of tissue from your esophagus for further testing. This is usually done with sedation.
  • Esophageal pH (acid) test
    This test monitors the amount of acid in your esophagus. The device used to measure acid can identify when and for how long stomach acid regurgitates into your esophagus.
  • Esophageal motility test
    This test measures the movement and pressure in your esophagus.

Lifestyle Changes to Treat Acid Reflux/GERD

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes
  • Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn (common triggers are fatty or fried foods, tomato sauce, alcohol, mint, garlic, onion and caffeine)
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Watch portion sizes - larger and higher-fat meals tend to stay in the stomach longer before moving to the small intestine, so the LES and esophagus are potentially exposed to stomach contents/acid for a
    longer time
  • Keep a heartburn/food journal - record symptoms, the time they occurred, what you ate, and activities you engaged in before the discomfort started
  • Don’t lie down after a meal
  • Elevate the head of you bed
  • Don’t smoke

While some people experience acid reflux/GERD and heartburn relief by making changes to their lifestyle or by taking over-the-counter medications such as antacids, H2 blockers and PPIs, others may continue to experience these symptoms. If 4 to 8 weeks of twice-daily PPI therapy is unsuccessful, further investigation with endoscopy is recommended. There are some procedures that can be done to treat GERD.

Treatments for Acid Reflux/GERD

  • Nissen fundoplication - surgery to reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter
  • Surgery to create a barrier preventing the backup of stomach acid
  • Stretta procedure - a procedure to produce scar tissue in the esophagus
  • Linx- surgery to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Abdominal Pain
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Achalasia
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Anorectal Disease
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Barrett's Esophagus
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Celiac Disease
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Chronic Diarrhea
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Chronic Liver Disease
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Cirrhosis
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Colon & Colorectal Cancer
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Constipation
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Crohn's Disease
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Esophageal Cancer
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Esophageal Varcies
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Esophagitis and Stricture
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Fecal Incontinence
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Gastrointestinal and Gastroenterologist
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Helicobacter Pylori (Stomach Infection)
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Hemorrhoids
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Hepatitis B
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Hepatitis C
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Hernias
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Hiatal Hernia
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Jaundice
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Liver Cancer
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Liver Disease
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Malabsorbtion
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Pancreatic Cancer
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Pancreatic Cysts
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Pancreatitis
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD)
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Rectal Bleeding
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Reflux Esophagitis
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Silent Reflux (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux)
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Stomach Problems and Swallowing Problems
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Stomach Ulcers
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Strictures
SideBar-Divider.jpg
Ulcerative Colitis
SideBar-Divider.jpg
 
 

Logo-Footer.png


Waldorf Office
3510 Old Washington Road, Suite 201
Waldorf, Maryland 20602

P: (301) 645-8035
F: (301) 645-5229


Oxon Hill Office
6710 Oxon Hill Road, Suite 305
Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745

P: (301) 292-2300
F: (301) 292-8025
E: inquiries(@)giassocmd.com


Endoscopy Center
3510 Old Washington Road, Suite 200
Waldorf, Maryland 20602

P: (301) 861-3660
F: (301) 843-5184


Kensington Pathology
Consultants (Pathology Lab)

6736 Curran Street, Suite 1
McLean, Virginia 22101

P: (703) 893-0851
F: (703) 893-2626
Footer-Information.jpg
About GI Associates of Maryland
Footer-Bar.jpg
Contact Us
Footer-Bar.jpg
Our Locations
Footer-Bar.jpg
For Physicians
Footer-Bar.jpg
Online Referral Scheduling
Footer-Bar.jpg
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Footer-Bar.jpg
Notice of Privacy Practices
Footer-Bar.jpg
Footer-Staff-Services.jpg
Our Providers
Footer-Bar.jpg
Our Procedures
Footer-Bar.jpg
Conditions
Footer-Bar.jpg
For Your Visit
Footer-Bar.jpg
Logo-Footer-StopColonCancerNow.png

Help us promote education and awareness about colon cancer screening and prevention

 
 

Footer-Social-Media-Facebook.png
Footer-Social-Media-Linkedin.png
Footer-Social-Media-Twitter.png

 
 
©2017 GI Associates of Maryland and its licensors. All rights reserved.Web services provided by Balancelogic