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Acid Reflux Atlanta

BMI Surgical Institute Atlanta

gastroesophageal reflux

What Is
Acid Reflux?

Eating something passes down to our stomach via a long hollow tube called the esophagus through a movement we call peristalsis. With a series of contractions and relaxations, the food gets dumped into the stomach through an opening/valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscular ring-like structure keeps the stomach contents from returning to the esophagus, a movement we call anti-peristalsis. 

But, sometimes this valve (LES) becomes weak and causes the propulsion of stomach contents back into the esophagus. As the PH of the stomach is acidic, a person feels bitterness and a burning sensation in the chest and throat as the symptoms of acid reflux. 

Normally everyone has experienced acid reflux sometimes. So people often associate it with mild ulcer, any allergy, or normal stomach pain. But feeling it occasionally or twice and thrice a week is a serious health concern. Chronic Acid reflux leads to a disease called Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Sometimes minor acid reflexes can be cured at home by dietary changes and precautions. But when it gets to the level of GERD, serious medical support is important.

You can get the best possible medical services in Atlanta from nearby surgical institutes to you.

What Is Gerd?

GERD stands for gastroesophageal acid reflux disease. When someone experiences repeated acid refluxes, we refer to this situation as chronic acid refluxes or GERD. According to research, the prevalence of GERD rate in adults is 11.6% while in people under 20 years of age is 4.4%.

Apart from the feeling of burning in the chest because of stomach acid, heartburn, and acid or sour liquid in the mouth from the stomach, people do observe a variety of other symptoms. Let’s discuss them all.

Symptoms of Gerd:

Major symptoms of GERD may include:

  1. Regurgitation is a common symptom of GERD. you may feel an acidic throat or backwashing of sour liquids in your mouth from the stomach.
  2. Acid indigestion or heartburn after a meal. This heartburn gets worse at night especially when you lie down. 
  3. Some people feel pain in their chest area close to the heart. It is because of the damage caused by acid in the esophagus which affects the same nerves as the heart. So it’s called a non-cardiac chest pain.
  4. A feeling of Nausea and loss of appetite.
  5. A feeling of a lump in the throat which results in difficulty in swallowing, dysphagia.

 

Acid reflux and GERD may trigger asthma-associated symptoms. Such as severe coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. It happens when the acid particles come into contact with your airways and they affect your sinuses. They also tend to block the sinuses. you may think that it is the result of any allergy.

If you experience acid reflux at night, symptoms of it and GERD include as suggested by gastroenterology:

Common Causes of
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease:

The risk factors or in simple words, causes of GERD include:

1. HIATAL HERNIA:

Hiatal hernia is when the upper part of the stomach bulges through a muscular structure in our chest area called the abdomen. It causes the acidic content to trap in the stomach and consequently, it weakens the esophageal sphincter by applying pressure.

2. PREGNANCY:

Pregnancy can temporarily cause acid reflux. Because during pregnancy the esophageal structure and the abdomen continuously change to make room for the fetus. Moreover, during pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is secreted in large amounts to relax the body muscles of the mother. It in turn relaxes the LES which causes Acid reflux, heartburn, and a painful stomach.

3. OBESITY:

Just like how a mother’s body changes during pregnancy to accommodate the fetus, the body of an obese individual has a similar effect. An obese body puts pressure on the internal organs because of the high-fat level. It can cause problems like hiatal hernia which in turn leads to more serious complications such as GERD and regular acid refluxes.

Under the studies of gastroenterology, other possible causes of GERD may include:

HOW TO DIAGNOSE GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE:

Severe acid refluxes and GERD can be diagnosed in Atlanta by:

  1. Upper endoscopy
  2. Reflux testing (wireless pH/pH impedance)
  3. Esophageal manometry
  4. Barium esophagram

UPPER ENDOSCOPY:

The upper endoscopy procedure helps to detect injuries caused by the acid in the upper part of the esophagus and your stomach. An overview of the upper endoscopy procedure is mentioned below:

  • In Atlanta, First, the specialists give you anesthesia and relaxants to avoid any pain.
  • Lying on the left lateral position is referred to during the position.
  • Then the endoscope is inserted through your mouth from the throat into the pharynx and onwards. It gives the image of the internal conditions of your esophagus.

REFLUX TESTING:

Reflux testing means that your healthcare professional tracks the acidity level of your stomach over some time. There are two ways to perform reflux testing in Atlanta and overall:

  1. Wireless PH testing: In this procedure, the doctor performs the endoscopy and places a chip on the lower part of your esophagus. Then during the next 48 hours, the PH of your stomach is recorded with your healthcare specialist.
  2. 24-hour PH impedance: This procedure is slightly different from the other one. During this procedure, a doctor places a thin, acid-sensitive catheter into your nose for 24 hours. This catheter examines the flow of acid and liquids from your esophagus to your stomach and helps to detect its severity.

ESOPHAGEAL MANOMETRY:

Esophageal manometry cannot specifically diagnose GERD, but it helps to identify other factors that appear like GERD in Atlanta. During this process, a catheter is placed into your esophagus near your stomach to detect the strength of your muscles. It also helps to understand the relaxation function of the esophageal sphincter concerning your stomach. It is important to know the extent to which it is damaged or weakened.

BARIUM ESOPHAGOGRAM:

As the name suggests, this type of diagnosis has something related to the element called Barium. It is the widely used procedure to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease of the stomach.

During this procedure, you swallow a distinct solution of a radioactive element called “Barium”. These elements perfectly line up to the walls of your esophagus and stomach. When an X-ray is performed, any abnormalities or injuries in your esophagus and stomach are easily detected.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE:

GERD can be cured either by prescription and non-prescription medicines or in case of severity by surgery of your stomach. Normally when you report Acid refluxes in the early stage, your doctor is more likely to suggest lifestyle changes such as losing weight (in case of obesity) and non-prescription medications. If it does not make any change, then prescription medications are suggested. In Atlanta, a similar process is followed.

NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS:

  1. Antacids that help to neutralize your stomach such as tums. However, an overdose of antacids can have side effects such as diarrhea and kidney problems.
  2. Histamine or h2 blockers that reduce acid production.
  3. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as lansoprazole, Omiprazole and esomiprazole.

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS:

  1. Prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors.
  2. Prescription-strength H-2 blockers such as famotidine and nizatidine.

SURGERY OPTIONS:

If the medicines fail to cure GERD, then we proceed to different surgical options. There are many surgeries performed to cure GERD. The most common and widely used especially in Atlanta and other areas of the world are the Nissen Fundoplication and LINX devices. 

  • Nissen fundoplication is a laparoscopic surgery carried out to cure the injuries of the esophagus and nearby organs caused by the acidic content of the stomach.
  • LINX device is a new surgical procedure to cure GERD. During this surgery, small magnetic rings are placed between the junction of the esophagus and stomach to keep them closed or at least lessen the weakness of the esophageal sphincter. 

Acid reflux is a normal phenomenon as long as it is not recurrent. If you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should seek professional assistance before it gets towards severity. GERD is a curable and treatable disease if the patient complies with the doctor’s advice and precautionary measures. It helps to avoid any long-term problems such as esophageal cancer,  lung cancer, and many others. 

If you are living in Atlanta and experience any symptoms related to acid reflux or GERD, feel welcome to our Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute center. With our experienced bariatric surgeons of Atlanta, we are keeping the mark of successful bariatric surgeries in Atlanta in our reputable center.

Acid Reflux Treatment Options in Atlanta