Acid Reflux in San Antonio, TX
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What is acid reflux?
Anytime we swallow food or liquids, they pass from our esophagus and into our stomach. Between our esophagus and stomach is a muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle closes and opens, permitting the passage of food into the stomach.
Each of us has stomach acid to assist with the digestion of the food we consume. Unfortunately, if the LES fails to close completely, it can allow some of that acid to flow backward into the esophagus, possibly doing damage and/or progressing to chronic acid reflux. This is what we experience as “heartburn” because the acid creates a burning sensation. At San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates, our board-certified gastrointestinal specialists regularly treat acid reflux and can help minimize heartburn and related symptoms. If you need to find a specialist who offers acid reflux treatment in San Antonio, TX, please reach out to us today.
What are the causes acid reflux or heartburn?
Even though acid reflux is extremely common, there is not one specific cause of it. There are many components that could contribute to a loss of strength in the lower esophageal sphincter and allow stomach acid to flow back up the digestive tract. Acid reflux can be caused by a number of medications, foods, pre-existing conditions, or some activities after eating. Different factors might affect an individual’s reflux in extremely varying ways. Examples of common causes of acid reflux include:
- A weak or compromised LES
- Tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, raw onions, garlic, black pepper, and peppermint
- A diet low in fiber
- Certain medications, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, those for blood pressure, and muscle relaxers
- Lying down quickly after eating
- Hiatal hernia
- Spicy or fatty foods
- Being obese or overweight
- Alcohol, especially red wine
- Carbonated drinks
What are common symptoms of acid reflux?
Oftentimes, acid reflux is called heartburn. Common acid reflux symptoms might include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- The feeling of a lump in the throat
- Chest pain
If you are dealing with any of these symptoms persistently, then you may suffer from a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If this is the case, please reach out to a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates specialist as soon as possible.
How can I relieve acid reflux?
The best and most successful method for alleviating acid reflux in San Antonio, TX is to consult with a board-certified GI specialist at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location near you. There are, however, some lifestyle changes that can be made to assist in lessening the frequency and severity of symptoms. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Quitting smoking
- Losing excess weight, if overweight
- Eating slowly and in moderation
- Not eating for, at least, two hours before bedtime
- Telling your GI provider about medication you are currently taking
- Limiting your caffeine intake
- Sleeping at an incline with your feet lower than your head
- Avoiding "trigger" beverages and foods
- Consistently standing or sitting upright after eating
What is the difference between acid reflux and GERD?
Most adults have experienced the burning sensation of acid reflux at some point during their lives. On the other hand, GERD is the more serious and chronic variety of acid reflux. GERD is most often diagnosed when an individual suffers from acid reflux more frequently than twice a week and when inflammation is present in the esophagus. If you suffer from the symptoms of acid reflux three times a week or more, we urge you to speak with a gastrointestinal provider today.
Find treatment for acid reflux
When consistent acid reflux or other bothersome GI conditions arise, please contact a GI specialist. The experienced providers at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates strive to educate and care for individuals with digestive health concerns, such as acid reflux and GERD. If you believe you may suffer from GERD or need help treating acid reflux in San Antonio, TX, contact our team to request a consultation.
Acid Reflux FAQs
When should I see a GI specialist for acid reflux?
It is vital to contact a GI specialist if you endure symptoms of acid reflux more than twice weekly, as you could be experiencing GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease). GERD is a drastic kind of acid reflux that can damage the upper GI tract if left untreated. The team of gastroenterologists at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates can go over your symptoms and make a diagnosis for the condition. Our team can help you establish any triggers to decrease symptoms.
How long should acid reflux take to clear up after finding the right treatment?
Treatment for acid reflux typically consists of a mix of medication and dietary changes. Once you find the correct treatment regimen, it might take a few weeks until your body begins to get better and notice results.
Should I avoid certain foods and drinks if I have acid reflux?
Yes, certain beverages and foods can instigate or worsen your symptoms of acid reflux. Some foods you could try avoiding if you have acid reflux are:
- Spicy foods
- Carbonated and caffeinated drinks (such as coffee, tea, soda, and seltzer)
- Fatty foods
- Foods with a lot of grease
How can I relieve acid reflux without using medication?
While it’s true there are over-the-counter and prescription meds that can help your acid reflux, there are also several options you can try that don’t include medication. A few are:
- Eat smaller meals more frequently each day rather than the standard larger three meals. This can help you avoid getting too full, which may create even more reflux.
- Try not to go to sleep right after eating. Our doctors suggest that you should refrain from eating about three hours before bedtime so the acid will reside in your stomach as opposed to regurgitating.
- If you are overweight, you may want to consider losing some weight. A doctor may be able to create a diet and exercise regimen considering your desires.
- Quit smoking cigarettes or additional tobacco products.
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