Are you tired of living with heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms? Our New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, can share some information about the condition and discusses acid reflux treatments that may be helpful.
Why do I have acid reflux?
Acid reflux symptoms occur when the sensitive lining of your esophagus becomes irritated by stomach acids. Normally, these acids remain in your stomach, where they break down proteins in foods. If stomach acids flow back into your esophagus, you may experience a variety symptoms, including heartburn, nausea, bloating, belching, bad breath, excessive saliva, and a lump-in-the-throat sensation.
You may be more likely to experience acid reflux if the esophageal sphincter that separates your stomach from your esophagus doesn't close properly or is weak. Other risk factors include exercising soon after eating, wearing tight clothing or belts, obesity, pregnancy, smoking, or drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
What treatment options are available for acid reflux?
Prevention is one of the easiest way to avoid acid reflux symptoms. If you notice that you often experience heartburn after you eat certain foods, such as onions or spicy or fatty foods, eliminating these foods from your diet can be helpful. It's also a good idea to wait about two hours after eating before lying down or exercising.
Over-the-counter antacids can help neutralize the acids that cause your pain, but antacids alone may not be enough to control your symptoms, particularly if you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). The condition occurs if you experience acid reflux symptoms at least twice a week or feel that your symptoms interfere with your life.
When you visit our New York office, we can recommend a variety of over-the-counter or prescription medications that can reduce acid production or help strengthen your esophageal sphincter. Before we suggest a particular medication regimen, we may recommend an endoscopy, a test that provides an up-close view of the lining of your esophagus and stomach.
During the test, a thin, flexible, lighted scope that contains a miniature camera is inserted into your mouth. As the scope passes through your esophagus and stomach, it sends images to a digital monitor. An endoscopy helps us identify any issues that may be causing or contributing to your symptoms and ensures that we offer treatment options that will relieve your symptoms.
Don't let acid reflux control your life. Call our New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Alpert, at (212) 599-7910 to schedule your appointment.