Most of us will only experience acid reflux in scenarios when we’ve eaten rich or spicy foods. While a curry, coffee, or alcoholic drink can cause a small bout of acid reflux, there are other causes which can lead to prolonged periods of reflux. For those of us who get it more frequently than not, acid reflux can warrant a visit to a specialist.
In this short post, we highlight some of the signs of acid reflux, as well as how to combat it.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid travels up the throat. The burning sensation it creates is felt most around the chest area, hence why it is commonly referred to as “heartburn”.
Although there is often no clear reason why acid reflux occurs, it has been linked to lifestyle factors such as diet, the use of other medicines, and other conditions that cannot be prevented.
Which Symptoms are a sign you have Acid Reflux?
The most common symptoms of acid reflux include:
- A burning sensation in the chest.
- Hiccups after eating trigger foods.
- A sour taste in the mouth.
Acid Reflux is just Indigestion, isn’t it?
No. Acid reflux is a symptom of indigestion, and indigestion can have other symptoms too. For example, feeling bloated and the sensation to belch are other common symptoms.
What are the Best Ways to Combat the Effects of Acid Reflux?
- If you are experiencing acid reflux, the easiest action is to drink water. This may provide some relief by raising your stomach’s pH and relieving your oesophagus ever so slightly.
- Some people claim that alkaline water helps with reflux, although there have not yet been any significant studies in the UK that have conclusively shown this or that there are any benefits of drinking bottled water with a higher pH level.
- If you are experiencing symptoms after a big meal, especially with takeaway food, eating small portions can minimise your risk of acid reflux. Also, after eating, make sure you stay upright to let food digest as lying down will cause stomach acid to rise.
Can People have recurring Acid Reflux?
Yes. If you experience heartburn, on average two to three times a week, you have a more serious condition than acid reflux, known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
GORD can be caused and exacerbated by any number of factors. Diet, smoking habits, and alcohol consumption can all play a large part, as can any inflammation in the digestive system that may not be diagnosed.
What should someone with consistent Acid Reflux do?
If acid reflux becomes a common occurrence and begins to feel like a part of daily life, we advise that you visit your GP. If they believe that your symptoms warrant closer investigation, you may be referred to a gastro specialist, just like those here at OneWelbeck.
What will a Specialist do?
As well as going through a range of checks, a specialist looking at a patient with acid reflux problems may carry out a gastroscopy. This small procedure uses a small camera, passed down the throat, to help see if there are any evident signs to address.
In most cases, when a patient is thoroughly checked, they would expect to be prescribed some proton pump inhibitors that try to reduce stomach acid production.
At OneWelbeck, our new digestive health centre team is equipped with cutting edge technology to provide you with fast, high-quality-diagnostic services. Most of our services can we conducted in the same day, allowing you to rest and recuperate in the comfort of your own home.
Do patients with Acid Reflux require surgery?
Surgery is usually only carried out in a small number of cases. The treatment is referred to as ‘fundoplication’ and aims to help minimise irritation of the oesophagus by making it harder for acid to travel back up the throat.
Some surgery may be required if a patient is found to have a hernia that is causing the problem.
Come and visit us at OneWelbeck Today
If you’re struggling with acid reflux, come and meet with one of our leading specialists who can help diagnose and treat your symptoms.
You can get in touch with us here and let us know what digestive problems you are experiencing. We will contact you with options to meet with our specialists and help with acid reflux or any GORD related issues.