Acid Reflux in Hattiesburg, MS

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

All individuals have acid in their stomach to help digest the food they consume. Unfortunately, if the LES fails to close completely, it may allow a portion of the acid to flow in reverse and into the esophagus, sometimes doing damage and/or leading to chronic acid reflux. That is when we experience "heartburn" from acid reflux, because the acid creates the sensation of burning. At Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC, our experienced gastrointestinal physicians commonly treat acid reflux and are able to help relieve heartburn and other symptoms. If you need to find a physician who offers acid reflux treatment in Hattiesburg, MS, contact one of our offices today.

Despite the fact that acid reflux is extremely commonplace, there is no individual, specific root of acid reflux. There are a number of factors that may impact the strength of the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid from the stomach to move in reverse into the digestive tract. Acid reflux may be caused by a variety of foods, medications, pre-existing conditions, or even activities following the consumption of food. Varying circumstances can impact an individual's acid reflux in unique ways. A few common factors contributing to acid reflux could include:

  • Certain medications (such as ibuprofen, aspirin, blood pressure drugs, and muscle relaxers)
  • A diet low in fiber
  • Being or becoming pregnant
  • Spicy or fatty foods
  • Tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, raw onions, garlic, black pepper, and peppermint
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Consumption of alcohol (red wine in particular)
  • Eating a heavy meal, then lying down
  • Caffeine
  • Having a weak or compromised LES
  • Being a smoker
  • Sparkling beverages

Acid reflux is commonly called heartburn. Common symptoms of acid reflux may include:

  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquids
  • Chest pain
  • Bloating
  • The feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you are dealing with any of these symptoms persistently, then you may suffer from a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If that is the case, please contact a Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC specialist as soon as possible.

The best and most effective method for relieving acid reflux is to reach out to a board-certified GI specialist in Hattiesburg, MS. However, there are some lifestyle changes that you can implement that can help lessen the frequency and severity of symptoms. These might include (but are not limited) to:

  • Telling your GI physician about current medications you are taking
  • Consistently standing or sitting upright after eating
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoidance of "trigger" foods and beverages
  • Not eating for, at minimum, 120 minutes before laying down to sleep
  • Sleeping at an incline with your feet lower than your head
  • Eating slowly and in moderation
  • Losing weight (if overweight)
  • Limiting your intake of caffeine

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The majority of people have felt the burning sensation of acid reflux at some point during their lives. However, GERD is a more dangerous and near-constant type of acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is typically diagnosed when you experience acid reflux more than twice per week along with swelling in the esophagus. If you struggle with the symptoms of acid reflux three times a week or more, we urge you to consult a gastroenterologist in Hattiesburg, MS at your earliest opportunity.

When recurring acid reflux or other troubling GI symptoms occur, we urge you to receive help from a gastroenterologist. The experienced physicians at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC work to educate and help people with digestive health problems like acid reflux and GERD. If you believe you may suffer from GERD or need help with acid reflux in Hattiesburg, MS, connect with our team to arrange for a consultation.

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