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What is Acid Reflux?
By Melvin D. Bullock MD
September 21, 2018
Tags: stomach pain   Acid Reflux  

Acid RefluxYour digestive health is important to your overall well-being. If you suffer symptoms of acid reflux, or GERD, address them during a consultation with Dr. Melvin Bullock in his Roswell office. The American College of Gastroenterology says this chronic ailment afflicts 60 million Americans; however, acid reflux can be controlled.

What is acid reflux?

When your stomach contents, including essential digestive acids, back up into your esophagus, this is acid reflux. Also known as heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), acid reflux causes very uncomfortable sensations of:

  • Burning
  • Pressure in the chest
  • Sour taste
  • Pain at the sternum or breast bone

Often brought on by certain foods or eating too much or eating too soon before bedtime, reflux can be related to structural problems in the GI tract, too. An incompetent, or malfunctioning, sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus or a hiatal hernia (part of the stomach intrudes into the diaphragm) cause GERD, too.

Should you be concerned?

The answer is yes if you have symptoms more than a few times a week. Stomach acid erodes the esophagus and also causes problems with swallowing, ulcers and more. Call Dr. Bullock at his Roswell office for evaluation of your acid reflux symptoms. He may recommend a procedure called an endoscopy.

An endoscopy involves insertion of a thin, lighted tube into your throat and down into your esophagus and stomach. Equipped with a real time camera, the endoscopy gives Dr. Bullock a clear view of your GI tract. He can take video and still images, and he can sample tissue for biopsy.

Dr. Bullock also uses a diagnostic test called pH screening. During an endoscopy, he places a miniature acid monitor within the esophagus. This tiny medical device sends Dr. Bullock readings on the level of acidity in your GI tract. The information helps the doctor tailor treatment to your unique physiological needs.

Common treatments for acid reflux

Mild symptoms of acid reflux can be controlled with lifestyle changes. While no one can change their age, other factors such as excess weight, sleep position (sleep with your head elevated), smoking and excessive alcohol usage can be altered. Dr. Bullock may recommend medications, too, such as H2 receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors which limit acid production in the stomach.

Dietary choices change the pH of stomach contents as well, decreasing the number and severity of symptoms. If you're struggling with reflux, consider consuming more of these stomach-friendly foods:

  • Egg whites
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Skim milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Avocados
  • Ginger tea
  • Low-fat meats and fish

Feel your best

Dr. Melvin Bullock and his friendly staff want to help you with your acid reflux symptoms. Don't suffer any longer. Instead, call the Roswell, GA office today for a personal consultation: (770) 442-5882.

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