Acid reflux can be painful and embarrassing. In three locations in Annapolis, Chester, and Gambrills/Waugh Chapel, Maryland, the Digestive Disorders Associates team provides an array of effective treatments to help you manage your acid reflux and improve your digestive health. From lifestyle changes to medication, the skilled medical professionals are here to help you find the right treatments to suit you. Call or schedule your appointment online today.
Acid reflux is also referred to as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The condition involves stomach acid moving upward into your esophagus. When your stomach acid flows backward in the wrong direction into your esophagus, over time it can damage the tissue that lines your esophagus.
If you have acid reflux, you might experience:
The most common symptom is a burning sensation in your chest and throat.
The cause of acid reflux isn’t definitive, but a number of factors might play a role. When you swallow your food, it enters the esophagus, and digestive muscles push the food down the esophagus and through a valve-like opening (lower esophageal sphincter) that connects your stomach and esophagus.
In most people, the esophageal sphincter remains closed after food passes through it. When food enters the stomach, a blend of enzymes and acids your body produces helps to break down your food.
With acid reflux, the lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t close properly, and the stomach acid splashes up into the esophagus during digestion. While the stomach lining is well-equipped to handle this powerful acid, the esophageal lining is more fragile.
Repeated exposure to the acid can cause the esophageal tissue lining to wear away in a condition called erosive esophagitis. In some cases, the condition can develop into Barrett’s esophagus, precancerous cells, or esophageal cancer.
The Digestive Disorders Associates professionals provide the Bravo™ reflux testing system to diagnose acid reflux. The Bravo system enables your gastroenterologist to evaluate the duration and frequency of acid reflux to better understand your symptoms with up to a 96-hour monitoring period.
Your gastroenterologist might recommend a number of treatments for acid reflux or GERD — a more severe form of acid reflux, such as:
Your gastroenterologist recommends helpful lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding certain foods that seem to trigger heartburn, and losing excess weight. If you’re overweight, your gastroenterologist can help you to lose weight and manage your condition. In some cases, problematic GERD can be treated with surgery.
If you’re dealing with acid reflux, start by booking your personal consultation. Call or click to schedule online.