Patient Education

Patient Education

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Office Hours

(By Appointment)

Mon    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tue     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wed    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thu     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frid     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat and Sun  Closed

 

Quest Lab hours:     Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux is a common upper gastrointestinal complaint.

 

Acid Reflux, also referred to as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and heartburn, is when acid produced by the stomach leaves the stomach and enters the esophagus (throat). The lining of the esophagus is not designed to handle very the acidic juices generated by the stomach.  This causes the symptoms we call heartburn.

 

What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?

-Burning in the center of the chest (under the sternum or breast bone)

-Burning in the throat

-Upper stomach pain or chest pain

-Hoarse voice

-Cough or wheezing

-Sour taste in the mouth

 

How do I treat Acid Reflux?

-Avoid food triggers. (common triggers are acidy foods, spicy hot foods, fatty foods, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine)

-Eat smaller but more frequent meals

-Avoid lying down for at least 2-3 hours after your last meal

-Elevated the head when sleeping (elevate the head of the bed or use a wedge pillow)

-Lose weight if you are overweigh

 

Are there other treatments for Acid Reflux?

-Antacids. These are available over the counter without a prescription. These products neutralize the acid to decrease symptoms. Examples of antacids include Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox. They are fine to take for only occasional symptoms.

-H2 Blockers. These are available over the counter without a prescription. These products turn off acid production by blocking receptors in the stomach that produce acid. An example of an H2 Blocker is Zantac, Tagamet and Pepcid AC. They are also fine for mild and occasional symptoms.

-Proton pump inhibitors. These are available in some forms over the counter and as prescription medication. These medications turn off acid production in the stomach. They are the most effective medications. Examples include Prilosec OTC, Nexium, and Prevacid. The medications taken over the counter should only be taken for up to two weeks. If symptoms persist, evaluation by a health care provider is recommended.

 

When Should I see my health care provider?

 -Severe symptoms

-Symptoms lasting longer than 2 weeks

-Having trouble swallowing food or liquid

-Unexplained weight loss

-Choking sensation

-Vomit blood or have bowel movements with blood, that are black or look like tar

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD