Treating Acid Reflux

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Lee Health
Published at : 11 Dec 2020
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It can start as a painful burning in the chest that typically happens after eating.

“Gastro esophageal reflux disease is a diagnosis that requires the patient to have at least three episodes per week of reflux and that means acid migrating to the upper region of the chest area,” said Dr. Juan Herrera, a gastroenterologist with Lee Health.

The symptoms can cause discomfort and last throughout the night.

“Usually, typical symptoms involve the acid feeling migrating from the mid belly to the upper chest area, sometimes accompanied by excessive burping or discomfort, and a feeling of slight pain and burning in the chest,” said Dr. Herrera.

While diet can play a major role in acid reflux, experts say lifestyle can also play a role. Things like smoking and obesity can cause a patient to have chronic acid reflux.

Patients may want to try losing weight, quit smoking, elevating the head of the bed, and not eating within three to four hours of going to bed,” said Jaine Milligan, a nurse practitioner on the medical staff of Lee Health.

Other triggers can be foods like tomato sauce, caffeine, and chocolate.

If a patient experiences symptoms on a regular basis it’s important they see their doctor to discuss treatment options.

“if this is left untreated you can have some long-term ramifications. The esophagus can become inflamed. This can also cause scarring and strictures which can then lead to problems with swallowing,” said Milligan.

Doctors may recommend over the counter anti-acids. If the symptoms get worse, other options like an upper endoscopy may offer the patient relief. A common diagnosis that doesn’t need to be ignored.


View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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