Botany Wellness

Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux services offered in Desert Ridge, Phoenix, AZ

Acid Reflux services offered in the greater Desert Ridge, Phoenix, AZ area

If acid reflux doesn’t improve with over-the-counter medications or your occasional heartburn turns into a regular event, it’s time to seek help from the skilled team at Premier Gastro Care in Phoenix, Arizona. Shakti Singh, MD, and the team provide comprehensive care for acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), easing your symptoms and preventing the precancerous changes of Barrett’s esophagus. Call the office or use online booking to get expert care for acid reflux.

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents flow back into the esophagus (the tube connecting your throat to your stomach). A round muscle, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), usually opens to let food pass into the stomach and closes to prevent strong acids from leaving the stomach. Acid reflux develops when the LES weakens or fails to function.

Is acid reflux different from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Acid reflux is a common, occasional problem. You have GERD when acid reflux becomes a recurring problem.

If you don’t seek treatment for GERD, the refluxing stomach acid leads to esophageal problems like:

  • Inflammation
  • Scarring
  • Esophageal narrowing
  • Barrett’s esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus develops when inflammation (due to GERD) changes the cells in the lower esophagus. In some people, Barrett’s leads to precancerous changes that increase their risk for esophageal cancer.

What symptoms does acid reflux cause?

Acid reflux and GERD cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Heartburn (burning pain in your chest)
  • Hoarseness
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Food regurgitation
  • Bitter taste in your mouth
  • Dental erosion

You may also have the sensation of something stuck in your throat.

How is acid reflux diagnosed?

Your Premier Gastro Care provider can usually diagnose acid reflux based on your symptoms. If they suspect GERD, they may run diagnostic tests, such as an upper endoscopy, upper gastrointestinal series (X-rays), and measuring acid levels in the esophagus.

How is acid reflux treated?

The first line of treatment for acid reflux and GERD is lifestyle modifications and medications. Lifestyle changes that improve acid reflux include avoiding certain foods, losing weight, elevating the head of your bed, and wearing loose clothes.

Three medications used for treating acid reflux and GERD include:

  • Antacids (neutralize stomach acid)
  • H2 receptor blockers (decrease acid production)
  • Proton pump inhibitors (block acid production)

You can get these in your local pharmacy, but your provider may prescribe a stronger form if over-the-counter medicines don’t help. They may also prescribe baclofen to help tighten the LES.

If medications don’t improve your symptoms and you have GERD, your provider may recommend minimally invasive surgery. There are several procedures, but they all treat GERD by tightening the LES.

Don’t put up with acid reflux pain or put yourself at risk of developing GERD. Call Premier Gastro Care or connect online today to request an appointment.