Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A.
Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Annapolis, MD, Kent Island, MD, Odenton, MD, Bowie, MD, Pasadena, MD & Greenbelt, MD
Acid reflux affects about 60 million adults at least once a month, and more than 15 million have it every day. However, no matter how frequently you experience the burning sensation of heartburn, you shouldn’t ignore it. The skilled gastroenterologists at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. are experts at diagnosing and treating the root cause of digestive symptoms like acid reflux. They provide practical solutions to help you get relief and improve your digestive health. Call one of the offices in Annapolis, Stevensville, Odenton, Bowie, or Pasadena, Maryland, or book an appointment online today.
Acid Reflux Q & A
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, is a burning feeling you get when the acidic contents of your stomach are refluxing up into your esophagus.
When you chew and swallow food, a ring of muscles at the bottom of your esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), opens to allow food to enter your stomach, and then it closes.
Acid reflux occurs when the LES relaxes or remains open, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to regurgitate up into the esophagus. It’s not uncommon to develop acid reflux after eating a large meal or spicy food.
However, millions of Americans have acid reflux on a regular basis. If you have acid reflux two or more times a week, you have a chronic condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
Heartburn is the tell-tale symptom of acid reflux. However, you may experience other symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- A sour taste in the back of your mouth
- Swallowing difficulty
- Chronic cough
- Loss of appetite
These symptoms may occur after eating or when you lie down or bend forward. If your heartburn lasts for several hours, you have severe GERD.
How is acid reflux diagnosed?
When you visit Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates with concerns about acid reflux, your provider thoroughly investigates your symptoms to find the root cause of your problem.
In most cases, the skilled gastroenterologists can diagnose acid reflux and GERD after reviewing your symptoms.
They may also run diagnostic tests such as:
- Esophageal manometry: measures the muscle function in your esophagus
- pH monitoring: assesses how much stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and how long it stays there
- Upper endoscopy: evaluates your esophagus to look for signs of tissue damage
Once they diagnose your condition, they can provide a tailored treatment plan.
How is acid reflux treated?
The goal of acid reflux treatment is to reduce reflux, relieve your symptoms, and prevent damage to your esophagus. The team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates takes a step-wise approach to the treatment of acid reflux.
First, they recommend lifestyle changes to alleviate your symptoms. Then, they may suggest over-the-counter antacids. In severe cases, prescription medication may be needed.
If prescription medication fails to alleviate your acid reflux or you have serious complications, a surgical fundoplication may be needed. During this procedure, your gastroenterologist tightens the LES to prevent acid reflux.
For a comprehensive approach to your acid reflux, call Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. or book an appointment online today.
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