Understanding Acid Reflux
We’ve all heard of it, but what exactly is acid reflux – and could it be causing your heartburn? More properly known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, acid reflux is a condition caused by the acidic contents of the stomach flowing upward back into the esophagus. Common symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, acid regurgitation or difficulty swallowing. Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest resulting from the acidic stomach contents irritating the lining of the esophagus. Acid regurgitation produces a sensation as if stomach fluid is rising through the chest, and reaching as high as the mouth. Chest pains, cough, sore throat or wheezing are less common signs of acid reflux disease. Left untreated, acid reflux is a significant risk factor for esophageal cancer. At Palmadessa & Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates, we diagnose and prescribe treatments for acid reflux for patients close by and throughout Queens, New Hyde Park, Laurelton, St. Albans, College Point, Whitestone, and surrounding areas near you.
Causes and Treatments for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can have a variety of causes. Some acidic foods, including coffee, citrus juices, chocolate and foods high in fat can contribute to acid reflux symptoms. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, pregnancy and obesity also count among acid reflux causes. Heartburn and/or acid regurgitation are usually sufficient to identify acid reflux in the absence of symptoms such as weight loss or internal bleeding associated with more serious GI conditions. An upper endoscopy, an examination performed with an endoscope, a narrow flexible tube with a light and camera at the end, can confirm the diagnosis if needed.
An “acid reflux diet” that avoids foods known to trigger episodes is often recommended for affected individuals. A variety of medications that block the production of acid in the stomach can also be effective remedies for acid reflux. Whatever the cause, there’s no reason to live with the symptoms of acid reflux any longer. Call or email us and schedule an appointment at Palmadessa & Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates today!