At Tampa Bay Reflux Center, we believe that you shouldn’t have to live your life in fear of heartburn and you shouldn’t have to give up the things you love just to avoid pain. So, what do you do when sitting down for your favorite meal begins to become a source of anxiety? Get acid reflux surgery.
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acid reflux treatment
Exploring the differences between acid reflux, Laryngopharyngeal reflux (also known as LPR), and their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
Symptoms of acid reflux disease affect more than 60 million Americans monthly. Of those 60 million, it’s estimated that nearly 25 million adults suffer from the symptoms of reflux every day. Since acid reflux symptoms are relatively commonplace, many adults don’t seek treatment or make important lifestyle changes to manage their reflux. Although much of the reflux that people experience is situational or occasional, nearly a quarter of those who suffer from acid reflux experience it on a chronic level as a symptom of an underlying condition called gastrointestinal reflux disease, or GERD.
Managing GERD-related reflux is difficult without treating the root cause: a weakened lower esophageal sphincter. The only way to achieve long-term relief of your GERD symptoms, including your acid reflux, is to undergo surgical treatment to correct your LES and prevent stomach acid from splashing back up into your esophagus. That being said, there are some lifestyle changes patients can make in the here-and-now to decrease the likelihood of exacerbating their acid reflux.
Avoid Your Triggers
Begin to pay attention to the foods and drinks that seem to incite or worsen your acid reflux disease. Here are a few common “triggers” for those with acid reflux disease.
- Coffee or tea
- Anything carbonated or caffeinated
- Fatty or spicy foods
- Onions and garlic tomatoes
Choose low-fat, high-protein foods in exchanges for foods with high carbohydrate or fat content. Cut down on your portion sizes as smaller meals will be easier on your stomach. And finally, pace yourself. When you feel yourself getting full, stop eating. It takes nearly 15-20 minutes for your body to tell your brain you feel full, so eat slowly and mindfully. Be sure to hydrate properly as well.
Going to bed with a full stomach can worsen your acid reflux. Eat meals at least 2-3 hours before bed to give your stomach the time it needs to digest before going to sleep.
Choose Looser Clothing
Studies show that tighter clothing or belts can put additional pressure on your stomach, causing your acid reflux to flare up.
Losing weight has shown to alleviate the effects of acid reflux or eliminate it altogether. Pair a healthy diet with regular exercise for best results.
Smoking can create extra stomach acid and make it more difficult to keep the acid down. Quitting can be hard! Talk to your doctor about ways to kick the habit for good and make sure you have a strong support group to help you through the process.
Trade your nightly destress drink for a long walk, meditation, reading or quality time with loved ones. Avoiding alcohol can help lessen the symptoms of acid reflux.
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to completely cure your GERD symptoms without surgical treatment, these lifestyle changes will help you to better manage your acid reflux both today and in the future until you’re ready for long-term treatment. Cheers to a healthier, happier life!
Any team is only as good as the people leading it, and we’re lucky enough to have two of the best and brightest at our helm. The Tampa Bay Reflux Center team is led by two of the most experienced foregut and esophageal surgeons in the southeastern United States: Dr. Grandhige and Dr. Tapper. With over 30 years of combined work experience and educations from prestigious universities, Dr.’s Tapper and Grandhige each bring a unique and varied background to our organization.
Dr. Gopal Grandhige specializes in the repair of hiatal, paraesophageal and diaphragmatic hernias, the surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and the laparoscopic management of achalasia, and he’s been at Tampa Bay Reflux Center since 2009. He was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Warner Robins, Georgia.
After graduating from The Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Biology, he attended the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor to complete his medical school. In 1999, he secured a position in a general surgery residency at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where he completed his general surgery residency in addition to a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Foregut and Bariatric Surgery.
During his fellowship training, Dr. Grandhige gained expertise in his area of interest: the minimally invasive approach to the foregut (esophagus, stomach and small intestine). During his training he performed over 300 laparoscopic gastrointestinal procedures including many bariatric procedures, and he currently performs more than 150 anti-reflux procedures per year and is recognized as one of the top reflux surgeons in the country.
Dr. Donovan Tapper is the newest addition to our team. He officially joined the ranks in 2016, but has been working alongside Dr. Grandhige since 2012 after serving for 13 years in the Air Force as an active duty general surgeon.
During his time in the Air Force, Dr. Tapper was assigned to tours in England, Tampa, Iraq, Germany, and San Antonio. His experiences included performing surgery in war zones, as well as in humanitarian disaster areas in Africa. During his assignment in Tampa, Dr. Tapper completed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Advanced GI Surgery at the University of South Florida. He has published peer-reviewed articles in the areas of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and bariatric surgery, and specializes in the laparoscopic treatment of reflux, hiatal hernia, and achalasia.
Dr. Tapper is one of the kindest men you’ll ever meet, and has considerable experience in a broad range of general surgery procedures with particular interest and training in minimally invasive abdominal surgery to include laparoscopic surgery of the abdominal wall, gallbladder, stomach, colon, and spleen.
Not all surgeons are created equal, and we won the lottery by having Dr. Grandhige and Dr. Tapper on staff at Tampa Bay Reflux Center. Their hard work and character, their passion for the work that they do, and their genuine sincerity (not to mention the fact their fabulous personalities), is part of what makes our organization so special. There are no other surgeons we would rather have leading our team.
Acid Reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) affects 60% of the adult population in some way over a 12-month period. In the U.S. alone, $10 billion a year are spent on over the counter and prescription medications to help treat acid reflux. However, these medications only treat the symptoms of GERD, rather than addressing the root causes. That means that you could be stuck taking these medications forever if you have chronic acid reflux, and your condition would never improve.
These medications also carry some negative side effects that can impact other areas of health. Let’s look at some of the medications, how they work, and potential side effects.