On Thursday, May 11, Daytime @ Nine featured Dr. Emmanuel Gorospe of San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates & Endoscopy Centers to discuss acid reflux, including tips to decrease occurrences of acid reflux and when you should see a specialist.

Acid reflux, or GERD, is an abnormal condition when excessive amounts of stomach acid back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. Studies suggest over 15 million Americans suffer from GERD every day. If you’re experiencing frequent heartburn on a regular basis, difficult or painful swallowing. As well as unexplained weight loss, or anemia, you should see a gastroenterologist to discuss your symptoms.

Dr. Gorospe said that long-term acid reflux that is left untreated or poorly treated can adversely affect your esophagus. Prolonged exposure to stomach acid can cause esophageal inflammation, and narrowing of the esophagus. As well as a change in the structure of the lining of the esophagus, which could lead to esophageal cancer.

To limit incidences of acid reflux, there are dietary and lifestyle changes that Dr. Gorospe suggested implementing.


  • Avoid smoking and drinking
  • Avoid eating sour or spicy foods
  • Try not to eat 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Elevate your head while sleeping.

While these tips can reduce how often you experience acid reflux or the severity of the symptoms. Frequent heartburn is a sign that you should see a specialist. There are several tests a gastroenterologist can perform to diagnose and treat acid reflux.

An endoscopy will allow your gastroenterologist to examine the damage to your esophagus. It can even make it possible to widen a narrowed esophagus. A pH probe study evaluates the amount of acid spilling into your esophagus over a 24-hour period. It is especially helpful when typical treatments prove ineffective. Gastroenterologists can also provide relief by prescribing medicines or offering treatment options to stop the damage.