If you experience burning pain or discomfort in your stomach or chest after meals, hoarseness of voice, or dry cough, then you may be suffering from acid reflux. It is a common condition in which acid from the stomach comes up through the esophagus, and sometimes even up to the throat.
Acid reflux can be caused by a variety of things. Some of these include obesity, eating late at night, lying down immediately after a meal, smoking, pregnancy, and even consumption of certain medications. Another cause is hiatal hernia. This develops when part of the stomach and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) move above the diaphragm. When this happens, acid can back up into the esophagus causing the symptoms of acid reflux such as heartburn, stomach pain, and a burning sensation in the back of the throat.
Managing Acid Reflux
In some cases, acid reflux can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. Some people who are suffering from acid reflux find relief by changing their diet.
Eating small portions of meals, slowing down during mealtime, and opting for a high-protein but low in fat diet are shown to help in alleviating the symptoms of acid reflux. Other people also find relief by cutting back on food that trigger their acid reflux symptoms. The most common food triggers include coffee, tomatoes, fatty or spicy food, onions, chocolates, alcohol, and citrus fruits.
Some over-the-counter medications, like antacids, can help improve the symptoms of acid reflux. Other medications that can help include foaming agents that coat the stomach, H2 blockers to reduce acid production, and prokinetics that help in strengthening the LES.
When lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications aren’t providing results, it may be time to look for further treatment options. Premier Surgical of Knoxville offers acid reflux treatments, including Antireflux Surgery, also known as “fundoplication.” This is a procedure that attempts to recreate the valve between the esophagus and the stomach by wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the lower part of the esophagus and sewing it into place. Fundoplication helps prevent acid from moving from the stomach up into the esophagus.