Suffering from Acid Reflux?
October 18, 2023Health News
What you need to know.
Acid reflux, also known as GERD, is a chronic condition that is an indication of the reflux system failing. It is normal to experience acid flow through the esophagus, but when this process does not function properly, one can experience acid reflux.
Reflux becomes chronic when severe symptoms or damage to the esophagus, pharynx or respiratory tract occur. Most individuals can manage reflux symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication. However, in some cases, a patient may need to seek surgical intervention to minimize symptoms.
What are the common symptoms of GERD?
- Regurgitation, belching
- Sore throat, hoarseness, persistent cough
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Excessive throat clearing
- Burning in the mouth or throat
If your acid reflux is determined to be chronic, there are several diagnostic tools used to identify the condition. Your doctor will review symptoms, your history of GERD and perform a physical examination. They may also recommend an upper endoscopy, which allows a scope to look inside your stomach and esophagus. This test can identify inflammation, a narrowing of the esophagus or collect tissue to test for Barrett’s esophagus. Another test is an acid probe, which monitors how long stomach acid regurgitates in your stomach. Other testing may involve esophageal manometry and diagnostic imaging.
Based on the diagnosis of your condition, your provider will recommend lifestyle and diet changes, along with nonprescription and prescription medications to start. If medication, diet and lifestyle changes fail to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, an acid reflux procedure or heartburn surgery may be required.
- Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) is a less-invasive restoration of the anti-reflux barrier that does not require internal incisions or dissection. Most patients can return home the next day and can return to work and most normal activities within a few days.
- LINX Procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that surrounds and compresses the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent stomach fluid from refluxing into the esophagus. The recovery period is brief and most experience a faster recovery to a normal diet.
Jane Ohde, DO
General Surgeon, Northern Nevada Medical Group