Acid Reflux Expert in Perumbakkam

Your Trusted Partner in Acid Reflux

Acid reflux causes heartburn, a burning sensation that happens when some of the acid content of the stomach flows up into the esophagus. We are here to provide you with top-notch care and guidance to tackle your problems.

Acid Reflux Hospital in Perumbakkam, Chennai

Understanding Acid Reflux

Why does Acid Reflux happen?

The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, which is a strong acid that helps trusted source break down food and protect against pathogens such as bacteria.

The lining of the stomach is specially adapted to protect it from the powerful acid, but the esophagus is not protected.

A ring of muscle, the gastroesophageal sphincter, normally acts trusted soucre as a valve that lets food into the stomach but not back up into the esophagus.

When this valve fails, stomach content regurgitates back into the esophagus. This is acid reflux. A person will feel a burning sensation in their esophagus as the acid rises up. This is heartburn.

What are the symptoms of Acid Reflux and GERD?

Symptoms of acid reflux and GERD may include:

  • Backwash: You might notice acid, food or liquids backwashing from your stomach into your throat after eating. This is also called regurgitation. You might notice the sour taste of the acid.
  • A burning feeling: Acid literally burns the tissues in your esophagus. If it feels like it’s in your chest, it’s called heartburn. If it feels closer to your stomach, you might call it acid indigestion.
  • Non cardiac chest pain: Some people feel pain in their esophagus that doesn’t feel like burning. Esophagus pain triggers the same nerves as heart-related pain does, so it might feel like that.
  • Nausea: Acid overflow or backwash may make you feel queasy or make you lose your appetite. Although you may have eaten a while ago, it may feel like there’s still more food to digest.
  • Sore Throat: If acid rises into your throat, it can make it sore. It might feel like there’s a lump in your throat, or like it’s hard to swallow. Reflux into your throat often happens at night.
  • Asthma symptoms: GERD can trigger asthma-like symptoms, like chronic coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. If acid particles get into your airways, it can make them contract.

Acid Reflux risk factors

Acid reflux can affect people of all ages, sometimes for unknown reasons. It may happen due to a lifestyle factor, but also due to causes that cannot always be prevented.

Risk factors for getting acid or GERD reflux include trusted source

  • Obesity
  • Smoking (active or passive)
  • Low levels of physical exercise
  • Medications, including drugs for asthma, calcium-channel blockers, antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants.
  • Pregnancy

Food and dietary habits that have been linked to acid reflux include:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauces
  • Onions and garlic
  • Eating large meals
  • Lying down within 2-3 hours of eating a meal
  • Consuming chocolate, carbonated drinks, and acidic juices

Acid Reflux complications

Without treatment, persistent acid reflux or GERD can lead to serious complications in the long term. This includes trusted source:

  • Esophagitis: The lining of the esophagus is inflamed, causing irritation, bleeding, and ulceration in some cases
  • Strictures: Damage caused by stomach acid leads to scar development and difficulties swallowing, with food getting stuck as it travels down the esophagus.
  • Barrett’s esophagus: A serious complication where repeated exposure to stomach acid causes changes in the cells and tissues lining the esophagus with the potential to develop into cancer cells.

What can I expect if I have Acid Reflux?

So many things contribute to acid reflux that it can be hard to tell what’s causing yours. Sometimes, simple lifestyle changes can make it go away. But some causes, like a hiatal hernia, may get worse.

If you have mild acid reflux, you can often manage it at home. If you have moderate to severe acid reflux, you might need a prescription to manage it. Medicine works for most people, but not all.

Whether your acid reflux bothers you a lot or a little, it’s a good idea to discuss it with a healthcare provider. They can assess whether it’s causing you complications that you may be unaware of.

If you have severe GERD or it causes complications that medicine can’t help, you might need surgery. But surgery is usually minor and effective. It’s worth treating GERD to prevent its complications.

What helps Acid Reflux at home?

To help manage acid reflux at home, try:

  • Eating smaller meals: Larger meals expand your stomach and put pressure on your LES. Smaller meals digest faster and don’t stimulate your stomach to produce so much acid.
  • Eating dinner earlier: Gravity plays a role in keeping acid down, so it’s a good idea to eat several hours before reclining in the living room or going to bed
  • Sleeping on your left side: This positions your lower esophageal sphincter in an air pocket above your stomach contents. Lying on your back or your right side submerges the valve.
  • Reducing abdominal pressure: Wear loose-fitting clothes or consider losing weight if you have overweight/obesity. This can help in the short term and the long term.
  • Quitting smoking and drinking: Both tobacco and alcohol weaken your LES. They also affect your stomach, making it more acidic and slowing your digestion time.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Antacids and alginates are good to have on hand, especially if you know you’re eating a rich or acidic meal that might trigger more stomach acid.
Frequently Asked Question on acid reflux
What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is a digestive disorder where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and discomfort.

Are there lifestyle changes that can help manage acid reflux?

Yes, lifestyle changes such as weight management, dietary modifications (avoiding trigger foods), elevating the head during sleep, and quitting smoking can help manage acid reflux.

How is acid reflux treated?

Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications (antacids, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors), and, in severe cases, surgery.

Is acid reflux more common in certain populations?

Acid reflux is more common in older adults, pregnant individuals, and those who are overweight. However, it can affect people of all ages.

Is acid reflux the same as heartburn?

Acid reflux and heartburn are related, but they are not exactly the same. Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid, while heartburn is a symptom of that reflux, characterized by a burning sensation.

Can lifestyle changes prevent acid reflux?

Yes, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding trigger foods, practicing good dietary habits, and quitting smoking are effective ways to prevent or manage acid reflux.