Acid reflux affects millions of Americans every day. Symptoms of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are uncomfortable and can interfere with your everyday life. While specific triggers for acid reflux vary from person to person, there are notable trigger foods and drinks you can avoid to alleviate the effects of your acid reflux or GERD.
In more severe cases of acid reflux or GERD, it’s likely that your doctor will recommend surgery to alleviate the symptoms and effects of the condition. Anti-reflux surgery, unlike other treatment options like medication or lifestyle changes, is the only form of GERD treatment that effectively relieves symptoms long-term by treating the root cause, i.e. your GERD. Most acid reflux surgeries aim to repair the lower esophageal sphincter—or LES—a valve that can be damaged or weakened, causing acid reflux and GERD.
When you talk about reflux, most people automatically associate the word with traditional acid reflux, which presents with common symptoms like heartburn, regurgitation, bloating, etc. What many patients don't know is that there are actually two different types of reflux: acid reflux and the less commonly known Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, i.e. "silent reflux". Although both can be associated with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD), they do differ in a number of ways, particularly when it comes to symptoms.
There’s been a lot of talk in the news about the dangerous long-term side effects of PPI’s, medications typically prescribed for the alleviation of heartburn & reflux. We’re seeing stories about patients who have tried going cold turkey, and it’s a painful and generally unsuccessful approach. The safest way to end your relationship with PPI’s is to wean yourself off the medication.
Education is key to managing any condition, especially one like GERD, so here are some questions you should be asking during your consult to make sure you’re well on your way to understanding the diagnosis, treatment, and management stages of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.