From Parkwest Medical Center Health & Lifestyles

There’s no magic timetable, but Dr. Willard Campbell of Premier Surgical in Knoxville believes a month of unrelenting acid reflux can be enough cause for concern.

“If you’re having daily or several times a week heartburn that is not readily controlled with over the counter medications, and it’s a persistent problem that requires you to take medicine on a daily or near daily basis,” Dr. Campbell says, “you really need to see a doctor to be evaluated and to find out if there’s another issue going on.”

A physician can make a referral to a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy to look for answers and an end to the discomfort.

“Most of the time it ends up that a more regular prescription regimen can get things under control, and then with time to heal nothing else needs to be done,” Dr. Campbell says. “The vast majority of people do not need surgery, but some people do.”

Dr. Campbell says it’s also important to see a doctor because there can be hidden concerns. That feeling of heartburn or indigestion might not be acid reflux, at all.

“Sometimes what we think is acid reflux and heartburn can be something else more serious,” Dr. Campbell says. “It could be an ulcer, it could be a tumor, or it could even be heart disease.”

A little heartburn or indigestion once in a while is nothing to worry about. But if you have to take antacids almost every day, or if you find that antacids and home remedies aren’t relieving your symptoms, schedule a visit with your primary care physician for answers and relief.

To learn more about surgical options for treating acid reflux, visit the Premier Surgical ACID REFLUX page.