Medicine Information

Acid Reflux - Symptoms and Treatment


Acid reflux (also known as GERD or heartburn) is a common condition -- Over 60 million Americans experience it at least once a month.

For some, acid reflux is a temporary phenomenon experienced only when eating too much, or eating particular types of food e.g. spicy foods. But for many others, acid reflux can be a painful and persistent condition.

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter (that normally closes after swallowing to prevent stomach contents from escaping) malfunctions and allows stomach acid to travel up the oesophagus. When this occurs, a painful sensation is felt.

What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?

The symptoms of acid reflux are a painful "burning" sensation in the upper chest and/or regurgitation of acid into the mouth. Some patients will even develop nausea although this is less common. Although often called "heartburn", the pain should not be mistaken for that associated with a true heart attack or cardiac arrest which would be accompanied by tightness of and pounding in the chest, weakness and feeling faint.

What are the Treatments for Acid Reflux?

Fortunately there are many treatments available for acid reflux.

Antacids are usually the first port of call for many acid reflux sufferers. For short term and infrequent attacks of acid reflux, these provide much needed temporary relief. However, as a long term solution they are not suitable and alternatives should be sought.

Any sufferer of regular acid reflux should keep a diary of everything they eat and drink. Over time, patterns can be established and many people report elimination or reduction of acid reflux symptoms after changing their diet accordingly to eliminate problematic food or drink.

If dietary changes have little or no effect, there are various families of drugs that are available over the counter and on prescription.

PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors, are often prescribed and successful drugs. These work by inhibiting production of the stomach acid that causes acid reflux. They have relatively limited side effects. H2 blockers are a different family of drugs that have the same effect but work in a different way. For the vast majority of long term acid reflux sufferers, PPIs and H2 blockers are a successful drug therapy. Some people, however, fail to respond to treatment with PPIs and H2 blockers and their only option are more radical drugs known as promotility agents. Unfortunately, these can have very severe side effects and are therefore rarely prescribed.

Lastly, for those who fail to respond to drug treatment, or simply want an alternative to the daily inconvenience of taking drugs, surgery is an option. New techniques are constantly being developed, some of which include procedures such as Enteryx Procedure, Stretta Procedure, Nissen Fundoplication and Endocinch. Your doctor will be able to give you more advice on these surgery options.

For more information and in-depth analysis of the treatment of acid reflux, visit Acid Reflux Treatment.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news



Harvard Gazette

Leveling the medical playing field
Harvard Gazette
Tate, who says one of her goals is to help diversify the face of medicine, credits her academic success to her mother, who continually preached the value of education to her eight children. Tate traces her interest in medicine to the day she asked her ...



M&S Takes Its Medicine
Bloomberg
Archie Norman, the famed turnaround specialist who is now chairman of Marks & Spencer Group Plc, is hoping for a textbook turnaround of Britain's biggest clothing store by value. He is certainly reading from the classic first page: on Wednesday the ...

and more »


Hawaii News Now

With smiles and bandages, a street medicine team builds bonds to help the hardest to house
Hawaii News Now
On Tuesday morning in Chinatown, Dr. Christina Wang and other members of the CHOW Project's street medicine team stumbled across someone lying on the side of River Street that they hadn't seen in a while.



Bustle

7 Things Your Feet Reveal About Your Health, According To Eastern Medicine
Bustle
When trying to determine the status of their health, most people don't turn to their feet for indication. However, in some types of medicine, they are a body part that can give you some insight into how your body is doing. When it comes to what your ...



Healthcare IT News

Precision medicine paradox: Tech outpacing policy
Healthcare IT News
Precision medicine is the great healthcare promise of today and the future. Successful individual treatments regimens and research programs, at large academic medical centers and community hospitals alike, are already underway and saving lives. And ...
Ethical Considerations Must Take Precedence in Precision MedicineHealthTech Magazine

all 2 news articles »


Golden Gate Xpress

Dwindling medicine
Golden Gate Xpress
Golden Gate Xpress examines the edible regulations from the adult use cannabis market. What the effect is for medical patients seeking potent products. Therefore, a cannabis extract oil from Express Extracts is also featured as a possible alternative ...

and more »


KDLT News (blog)

New Migraine Medicine Coming to South Dakota
KDLT News (blog)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — If you or someone you know suffers from migraines, there could relief coming soon. A new treatment was recently approved by the FDA for migraine prevention. The drug is said to reduce the pain, frequency and duration of the severe ...
FDA approves novel preventive treatment for migraineFDA.gov

all 10 news articles »


International Atomic Energy Agency

How the IAEA Helps Maintain Health and Safety in Nuclear Medicine: Technical Meeting on Preventing Unintended ...
International Atomic Energy Agency
The exponential rise in nuclear medicine procedures performed around the world benefits an increasing number of patients, but it also intensifies the need to avoid any related accidental radiation exposure. Participants in an IAEA meeting last week ...



WTNH.com (press release)

Spring Cleaning your medicine cabinet
WTNH.com (press release)
(WNH) - As you are spring cleaning your home, one place you do not want to neglect is your medicine cabinet. Dr. Imran Ali with Bridgeport Hospital explains why it is so important to go through your medications and supplements. Is it safe to use a ...


Google News

home | site map | Dr. Thad Thomas
© 2006