Acid Reflux in Hattiesburg, MS
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What is acid reflux?
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.
What causes acid reflux or heartburn?
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
- Having a weak or compromised LES
- Being a smoker
- Sparkling beverages
What are common acid reflux symptoms?
Acid reflux is commonly called heartburn. Common symptoms of acid reflux may include:
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquids
- Chest pain
- 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.
How do I relieve acid reflux?
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
What are the differences between acid reflux and GERD?
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.
Find treatment for acid reflux
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.
The staff there were very friendly. Didn't have to wait a long time to see the Dr. I have been there before so decided to go back to them again for my procedure because I like the service they give.
I went to Hattiesburg GI for a 2nd opinion after suffering with numerous GI issues for 30+years since childhood. I saw Erin the nurse practitioner who immediately made me feel super comfortable. She was so nice and did not make me feel rushed and took time to actually listen to me and didn't make me feel like "just another patient" but somebody who mattered and that she really wanted to help. The Dr. I had been seeing since relocating to MS nearly 2yrs ago is nice but my chronic Illnesses and many GI conditions are difficult to treat and often many things do not always work which can be very frustrating for Dr.'s. I think many times they forget how frustrating it is for the person living each day with all of the illnesses. Erin came up with a plan right away and even mentioned something that had never been discussed with me in the over 30+ years that I've been sick each day. I was so excited leaving their office and finally had hope that maybe this would work and grateful that I'd been listend to by someone who was genuinely friendly and not fake nice. I will be happily calling this my new GI Dr. Office! 🙂
Dr. Fox and his staff are amazing! I have had several procedures at Hattiesburg GI Associates and they are always very professional and compassionate.
Hattiesburg GI Associate Dr Marrissette and staff are very passionate in their profession (ministry) and I always receive excellent care.
Have complete confidence in Dr Fox. He has not only seen me over the years but my husband, mother, grandmother, aunts, and uncles. Will continue to see him in the future. Thanks so much for such wonderful care of your patients!