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Acid Reflux

Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division

GASTROENTEROLOGY PRACTICE LOCATED IN POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, FISHKILL, NY & HIGHLAND, NY

If you regularly experience heartburn and it doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medication, it may be due to acid reflux. Without early intervention and treatment, acid reflux increases your risk of more serious health problems like Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. At Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division, with offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, and Highland, New York, the team of board-certified gastroenterologists provides safe, effective treatment for acid reflux. To schedule an appointment, book online or call the office today.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a chronic condition that occurs due to a malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

The LES is a band of muscular tissue that prevents acid from leaving your stomach and traveling into your esophagus. If the LES weakens, acid can flow into your esophagus, causing pain and inflammation.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

Common symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A burning sensation in your chest after eating or drinking
  • Chronic cough

Acid reflux can prevent you from getting a restful night’s sleep. Many people with acid reflux experience a worsening of symptoms after lying down. 

When should I see a doctor regarding acid reflux?

Almost everyone experiences heartburn on occasion. If your symptoms occur daily, or you find yourself taking over-the-counter medications more than twice a week, schedule an appointment with the caring team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division.

Who is at risk of experiencing acid reflux?

Acid reflux affects people of all ages and genders, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Eating fried or fatty foods
  • Drinking beverages like alcohol or coffee
  • Taking certain medications

You’re also more likely to experience acid reflux if you eat large meals before going to bed or have a connective tissue disorder like scleroderma.

How is acid reflux diagnosed?

To diagnose acid reflux, the team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division reviews your medical history and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms. 

Afterward, they conduct a procedure known as an upper endoscopy. Before the upper endoscopy, you’re put to sleep using general anesthesia. Once you’re comfortable, your provider inserts a thin tube with a light and camera on the end (an endoscope) into your mouth.

Your provider guides the endoscope down your throat and into your esophagus. The camera provides real-time images of your esophagus and upper stomach, allowing your provider to confirm a diagnosis of acid reflux.

How is acid reflux treated?

The team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division typically recommends holistic, conservative treatments to address acid reflux, including healthy lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications.

Losing weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day may significantly ease your symptoms. You might also benefit from eating several smaller meals throughout the day but limiting food before bedtime. 

You should also avoid:

  • High-fat foods
  • Spicy dishes
  • Tomatoes and tomato products
  • Citrus fruits
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Milk
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Coffee (including decaf) and tea
  • Chocolate and mints
  • Alcohol

To learn more about acid reflux treatment, schedule an appointment at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division. Book a consultation online or call the office today.