Heartburn or acid reflux is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a common problem, especially if you're overweight or eat a diet that is high in fat. If you’re dealing with symptoms of GERD, board-certified gastroenterologist Muhammad Naeem, MD, at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA in San Antonio, Texas, can help. Dr. Naeem uses the most advanced techniques to assess your condition, including Bravo™ pH reflux testing system and manometry. Call the practice today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a problem that develops from chronic heartburn or acid reflux. It causes burning pain in your esophagus and can lead to more serious health conditions.
The problem arises when your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) gets weak or stops working as it should. The LES is a ring of muscle that prevents acid from leaving your stomach but lets food through into your stomach when you swallow.
Stomach acid is highly corrosive. That's fine when your stomach lining is healthy and the acid stays in your stomach; its lining is resistant to the acids it produces. If a weak LES is allowing acid into your esophagus, the acid burns that tissue, which doesn't have the same resistance.
Common GERD symptoms include:
Your provider at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA uses the Bravo pH reflux testing system and manometry to assess your esophagus. The pH studies measure the quantity of acid flowing into your esophagus from your stomach in a 24-hour period. Manometry identifies issues with pressure and movement in your esophagus that might lead to heartburn.
If you have the odd attack of heartburn or acid reflux, over-the-counter antacids can counteract the acid and relieve your symptoms. As GERD tends to be a consequence of an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight or obese, making changes to your diet and losing weight can make a significant difference.
You should also try to avoid common triggers for GERD, which include:
If you're experiencing regular attacks of acid reflux or chronic GERD, your provider at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA might recommend specialized medication. Proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers are prescription medicines that reduce your stomach’s production of acid.
The team has extensive experience in treating complicated cases of GERD with medical management. Where necessary, they work with ENT (ear, nose, and throat), general, and bariatric surgical teams to resolve your GERD.
If conservative methods aren't relieving your symptoms, you might need to have surgery. Leaving GERD untreated can cause esophageal scarring and develop into a condition called Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's can, in turn, develop into esophageal cancer.
GERD surgery can take several forms. One of the most well-established is laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery. Fundoplication involves wrapping the top part of your stomach around the lowest part of your esophagus to reinforce the LES and prevent acid reflux.
If you're experiencing recurring or persistent symptoms of GERD, call Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA today, or make an appointment using the online booking facility.