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.
Acid Reflux FAQs
How do I know when to see a GI specialist for acid reflux?
It is vital to consult a physician if you endure acid reflux a minimum of two times a week, as this could suggest you are suffering from GERD. Gastrointestinal reflux disease is a chronic form of acid reflux that can damage your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract if untreated. The team at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC can review your symptoms and diagnose your condition. Our team may also help you identify any acid reflux triggers to relieve its effects.
How long might it take acid reflux to improve with treatment?
Treatment for acid reflux often consists of a combination of medication and changes to your diet. Once you get the proper treatment regimen for acid reflux, it could take a few weeks for your body to heal and for you to experience relief.
What foods and beverages should I avoid when I have acid reflux?
Certain beverages and foods can produce or exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux. A few common items you may wish to avoid if you suffer from this condition include:
- Greasy foods
- Spicy foods
- High-fat foods
- Caffeinated or carbonated drinks (such as coffee, tea, soda, and seltzer)
Are there any ways to relieve acid reflux without medication?
While over-the-counter and prescription medications can reduce acid reflux symptoms, there are other options you might also consider that do not include medication. Some of these involve:
- Stop smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products.
- Avoid going right to sleep right after eating. Our GI specialists suggest eating three hours before bed so the acid will remain in the stomach instead of regurgitating.
- Eat more meals in smaller quantities each day instead of the standard three larger meals. This often helps keep you from becoming overly full, which could increase your symptoms.
- If you are overweight, consider a weight loss plan. A physician can help you develop a weight loss program ideal for your needs and goals.
The people were openly friendly are very informed and gave of themselves to answer my questions and take care of my concerns
Would recommend they nice
Dr Buckley is extremely competent and caring. He treated me with courtesy and dignity. He is a very good person and a great doctor.
Dr. Morrissette spent a lot of time listening to me and the stomach issues I had been dealing with lately. He is being very proactive so he can determine what is or is not going on with me. He is very kind, knowledgeable and I can tell that he loves what he does. I would highly recommend him!
Very good experience. He starts right where u left off from the previous visit. Not many Drs do that. I will continue to be treated by Dr Fox.