Acid Reflux in Texas
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What is acid reflux?
When we ingest liquids or foods, they pass through our esophagus into our stomach. In between the esophagus and stomach is a muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This opens and closes, permitting the passage of food into the stomach.
Additionally, we all have stomach acid to help digest the food we eat. Unfortunately, if the LES does not close all the way, it can allow some of the acid to flow in reverse and seep into the esophagus. This can sometimes cause harm and may lead to chronic acid reflux. That is what we experience as “heartburn” from acid reflux due to the fact that the acid creates a burning sensation. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, our board-certified providers commonly treat acid reflux and can help relieve heartburn and related symptoms. If you are seeking acid reflux treatment in Texas, contact your nearest Texas Digestive Disease Consultants location to request a consultation.
What causes acid reflux or heartburn?
Even though acid reflux is extremely common, there is no individual, primary, root cause. There are many components that could be a part of a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter and could then permit stomach acid to flow in reverse into the digestive tract. Acid reflux might be caused by some medications, foods, pre-existing conditions, or some activities following eating. Differing factors can impact an individual’s reflux in extraordinarily different ways. Some common factors contributing to acid reflux could include:
- Hiatal hernia
- Fatty or spicy foods
- Low-fiber diet
- Being a smoker
- Having a weak or sub-optimal LES
- Being obese or overweight
- Consuming caffeine
- Lying down quickly after eating
- Specific medications (such as ibuprofen, aspirin, muscle relaxers, and those for blood pressure)
- Consumption of alcohol (red wine in particular)
- Tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, raw onions, garlic, black pepper, and peppermint
- Bubbly beverages
- Being or becoming pregnant
What are common acid reflux symptoms?
Commonly, acid reflux is referred to as heartburn. Common acid reflux symptoms may include:
- Pain in the chest
- The feeling of a lump in the throat
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- Unexplained weight loss
If you are dealing with these symptoms on a regular basis, then it is possible that you may suffer from a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If this is the case, we urge you to request a consultation at a Texas Digestive Disease Consultants location near you as soon as possible.
How can a person relieve acid reflux?
The best and most effective way to relieve acid reflux is to reach out to a board-certified GI specialist in Texas. However, there are also some lifestyle changes that can be implemented that may help lessen the severity and frequency of symptoms. These can include (but are not limited) to:
- Telling your GI specialist about medication you are currently taking
- Being sure to stand or sit upright after eating
- Eating slowly and in moderation
- Not eating for, at minimum, two hours prior to laying down to sleep
- Avoidance of "trigger" foods and beverages
- Limiting your intake of caffeine
- Sleeping at an incline with your feet lower than your head
- Losing weight (if overweight)
- Quitting smoking
What are the differences between acid reflux and GERD?
Most people have known the burning sensation of acid reflux at some point during their lives. However, GERD is the more dangerous and recurring type of acid reflux. GERD is typically diagnosed when you experience acid reflux more frequently than twice per week as well as having swelling in your esophagus. If you struggle with the symptoms of acid reflux three times a week or more, please meet with one of our Texas providers immediately.
Find treatment for acid reflux
If frequent acid reflux or other troubling GI effects arise, please receive help from an a GI physician. The experienced providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants strive to inform and care for people with digestive health problems, such as acid reflux and GERD. If you believe you may need treatment for acid reflux in Texas, contact a location near you to request a consultation.
Acid Reflux FAQs
How do I know when to see a GI specialist for acid reflux?
It is important to consult a GI doctor if you experience acid reflux a minimum of twice weekly, as this could suggest you are suffering from GERD. Gastrointestinal reflux disease is a more severe variation of acid reflux that can cause damage to the upper part of the digestive tract if left untreated. The team at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants can assess your acid reflux symptoms and determine a diagnosis. Our providers will also help you identify any acid reflux triggers to minimize its symptoms.
How long does acid reflux take to improve after finding the right treatment?
Treatment for acid reflux often encompasses a mix of medicine and dietary modifications. Once you discover the right treatment program for your needs, it may take anywhere from 1 – 3 weeks for your body to recover and your symptoms to improve.
Are there any foods and beverages I should avoid if I have acid reflux?
Certain foods and beverages can produce or worsen your symptoms. A few common foods and drinks you might want to avoid if you have acid reflux include:
- Carbonated and caffeinated drinks (such as seltzer, soda, coffee, and tea)
- Spicy foods
- High-fat foods
- Greasy foods
What are some ways to relieve acid reflux outside of medication?
While OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription medications can help manage acid reflux, you can also try other options to reduce your symptoms. A few of these include:
- Avoid smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products.
- If you are overweight or obese, consider following a weight loss plan. A physician can work with you to create a program ideal for your needs.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than the standard three meals. This can help you from getting overly full, which can exacerbate reflux.
- Don’t go to bed right after eating dinner. It can be beneficial to finish eating three hours before going to bed so the acid stays in your stomach instead of regurgitating.
Dr Levitan is super nice! Hard to get into see him….worth the wait! He advised me one of my medications was contributing to my acid reflux. I’ve been on the medication for YEARS and no one told me that! I stopped taking it and I have fewer issues for sure.
My wife had acid reflux problems in 2019. We visited three doctors one after the other but their treatments for her did not work at all. Situation worsened and she had to be taken to the emergency room. After restoring temporary normalcy, the attending doctor there suggested Dr. Brent Lacey who she said was the best. Frankly, we secured an appointment with him without any expectations at all. During the appointment however, Dr. Lacey patiently listened to my wife's acid reflux problem in detail and suggested appropriate course of action. Thanks to his treatment, she recovered very well. We were pleasantly surprised and felt good. It seems Dr. Lacey focuses on his patient's well being, one patient at a time. Being such a good doctor, he must be very busy but still spends time patiently with his patients unlike other doctors who we have visited for this problem in the past. During appointments, you get the impression that he is completely dedicated to you. There are no airs, no pretensions. There is no attempt at hurrying you up for the next patient. This is basic quality expected of a doctor, and ability to successfully treat a patient is the best quality. He has both in abundance. Several months later in 2022, I got the same problem and without thinking twice, I went to Dr. Lacey confidently. He treated me with the same attention, concern and expertise. Me and my wife both are very thankful to this rare breed of meritorious doctors such as Dr Lacey. He also focuses on your other habits to see if changing any of them even subtly could be helpful in the pursuit of overall good health. Outstanding. After getting treated by Dr Lacey, one walks out of his office with the pleasant feeling that good doctors thought rare still exist.
Dr.Friedman was very approachable and quick to diagnose my condition. I was suffering for 14 days with terrible acid reflux and high BP. Doctor quickly got to the root cause by performing an endoscopy. Endoscopy was performed seamlessly and observations explained thoroughly. Before the endoscopy, I was very nervous and doctor provided the confidence and support needed.
Dr. Mani is a fabulous gastrologist who has performed my endoscopy and colonoscopy painlessly for 10 years. When I had questions this month about other related organs and acid reflux, he provided professional answers from several angles. He and his team are attentive and precise.
Apart from being the best Gastroenterlogist, Dr. Ravi BOTLA is one of the most kindest souls I have ever met. He was very patient and listened to my concerns and guided me in the best way. I was suffering with severe acid reflux and his treatment helped me to overcome my issue in a great way