What Is Acid Reflux Disease?


Acid reflux disease occurs when stomach acids travel up the esophagus. The leading cause of acid reflux disease is malfunctioning in the lower esophageal sphincter that does not close properly, thus paving the way for stomach acids to move up the esophagus, causing symptoms like heartburn and chest pain. Luckily, Dr. Matthew Shawl New York, asserts that with proper medical approach,  patients relieve their symptoms and thus restore wellness.

What causes acid reflux disease?

One of the leading causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease is hiatal hernia. This stomach abnormality causes acid reflux to move up the stomach, especially since the diaphragm cannot keep the acid in the stomach. The following are other risk factors that may increase a patient’s chance of experiencing acid reflux disease:

  • Lying on your back or bending forward after a heavy meal
  • Snacking during bedtime
  • Obesity and being overweight
  • Eating fatty or spicy foods
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy

What are the symptoms of acid reflux disease?

Patients with acid reflux disease complain of a burning pain that travels from the stomach to the chest and throat. This symptom is heartburn. Regurgitation is another sign of acid reflux disease and involves tasting a sour acid moving upwards from the stomach to the throat. common symptoms patients with acid reflux disease present with include:

  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Persistent hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat
  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation

How do physicians diagnose acid reflux disease?

Physicians encourage patients to seek medical assistance for acid reflux symptoms that occur twice a week and do not relieve after taking medications. The initial way for your physician to diagnose your condition is to review your symptoms. Physicians detect acid reflux disease if a patient reports heartburn, which relieves after taking antacids. After reviewing your symptoms, your doctor may perform additional tests for an accurate diagnosis to explain disease severity and thus help develop an ideal treatment approach. The following tests can help check for underlying problems causing acid reflux disease:

  • Barium swallow: This test is also called an esophagram and involves x-ray imaging to observe how a patient swallows a solution to detect any esophageal narrowing or ulcers that might explain your symptoms.
  • Endoscopy: This test involves laparoscopic guidance to check for problems in the esophagus or stomach. Sedation is necessary to ensure patient comfort during the procedure.

How to prevent and treat acid reflux disease?

Physicians insist on the significance of adopting healthy lifestyle changes to manage acid reflux disease. Some of the lifestyle changes that can eliminate acid reflux disease include:

  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day prevents overfilling the stomach and thus releases stomach acids.
  • The chair offers the perfect position for daytime naps
  • Avoid tight clothing like belts or shirts that may put pressure on the stomach
  • Quit smoking to minimize inflammation in the esophagus that might be causing narrowing, thus resulting in acid reflux disease
  • Exercising and consuming a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid lying down immediately after eating

Contact Matthew W. Shawl, MD, for an accurate diagnosis of your acid reflux disease symptoms and thus start early treatment to restore comfort by relieving symptoms.

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