Acid Reflux Treatment in North Houston
What are heartburn & acid reflux?
Heartburn is the term used to describe a common phenomenon that actually feels like your chest is burning, typically after eating and late at night. Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, which happens when acid from your stomach goes back into your esophagus. Usually felt just behind the breastbone, heartburn tends to feel worse when you are lying down and can disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
If you experience mild heartburn that only happens occasionally, you can probably manage it using over-the-counter medications. However, people who are affected by heartburn more frequently should visit us at Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston for a consultation. We’ll determine whether an underlying condition is causing your heartburn and the best way to alleviate your symptoms.
What causes heartburn & acid reflux?
Heartburn and acid reflux both occur when the band of muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus (known as your sphincter) relaxes and allows food or liquid to enter back into the esophagus. This can happen due to a weakness or abnormality in the esophagus sphincter. There are numerous factors that can trigger acid reflux and heartburn, including eating the following types of food and drinks:
- Spicy foods
- Fatty foods
- Fried foods
- Caffeinated drinks
- Carbonated drinks
Additionally, the following specific foods can trigger heartburn and acid reflux and should be avoided if you suffer from the problem:
- Citrus fruit
- Tomato products
For a complete list of drinks and foods to avoid, speak with an expert at Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston. Because everyone’s body is unique, the specific foods and drinks that you’ll need to avoid could vary.
What are the symptoms of heartburn & acid reflux?
Symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux include the following:
- Pain in the chest, usually after a meal and at nighttime
- Chest pain that feels like burning
- Pain that increases when lying down
How are heartburn & acid reflux diagnosed by a digestive disease doctor in Houston?
At Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston, Dr. Adeyefa and our team of providers can diagnose your heartburn and acid reflux, checking for signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We take the time to explain the process of diagnosing your condition as well as educating you about digestive problems so you can be involved in the diagnostic and treatment process. Some of the diagnostic services we may use to help determine what is causing your discomfort and symptoms of heartburn include:
- Upper GI endoscopy
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- HALO ablation for Barrett’s esophagus
- Barium swallow test
- Manometry test
- PH monitoring test
- Acid reflux biopsy
Can heartburn & acid reflux lead to complications if left untreated?
Because acid reflux and heartburn are such common symptoms, they are often overlooked and even ignored for extended amounts of time, leaving a person not only in discomfort but also potentially causing damage and long-term complications. Complications generally arise when a person experiences acid reflux or heartburn more than once a week over time, which irritates the lining of the esophagus. Acid reflux and acid reflux symptoms may also be a sign of an underlying condition. These can include:
- Esophagitis/esophagus inflammation
- Esophageal strictures
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Esophageal cancer or colon cancer
Acid Reflux & Heartburn Treatment From a Houston Digestive Doctor
Often, heartburn and other digestive problems can be remedied with changes to your diet and lifestyle. Additionally, sometimes prescription medications may help alleviate your symptoms. Our team of providers can create a personalized heartburn management plan for you that addresses all of your unique needs and concerns. Some common treatment options that may be used to help control your symptoms include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Diet changes
- Over-the-counter antacids and other medications (when symptoms are mild)
- Prescription antacids and other medications
- Esophagus surgery
If you are experiencing symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux, visit Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston. Our team strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition services for patients in North Houston and the surrounding areas. We believe quality care begins with a patient-centered approach to diagnosing and treating both minor and chronic GI conditions. Schedule an appointment at our practice today by calling 832.912.4481 or fill out the form on this page.