Acid Reflux

Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates

General Family Medicine located in Aliso Viejo, CA

Do you suffer from unpleasant symptoms of acid reflux? Get to the bottom of its cause and find the right treatment for you with the team at Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates, a family practice located in Aliso Viejo, California. Book your appointment online or over the phone today.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition that occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter, the valve at the entrance of your stomach, doesn’t close all the way, or opens when it shouldn’t. This allows acid to come up from your stomach into your esophagus.

If you get acid reflux more than twice a week, you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

Common symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Heartburn
  • Feeling like you have food stuck in your throat
  • Regurgitation
  • Hiccups, burping, and nausea
  • Chronic sore throat, wheezing, dry cough
  • Bloating
  • Bloody or black stool

Note that you don’t have to have all of these symptoms to have acid reflux.

Can I treat acid reflux with lifestyle changes?

One of the most common causes of acid reflux is poor diet and lifestyle choices. By changing these habits, you can often stop the acid reflux. Some changes you can try include:

  • Eating no later than two to three hours before laying down
  • Elevating your head four to six inches at night
  • Taking your naps in a chair
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing excess weight
  • Eating several small meals throughout the day

Also, if you know that some foods trigger your acid reflux, it’s important to limit your intake of them. When you visit the team at Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates, they may also determine certain foods, beverages, and/or medications you need to avoid.

Many over-the-counter medications help stop the symptoms of acid reflux. However, they often have side effects, such as constipation or diarrhea. Also, it’s not usually sustainable to constantly take over-the-counter medications to calm your acid reflux.

Sometimes, doctors do prescribe medications for acid reflux. Some of the most common of these prescriptions include:

H2 blockers

H2 blockers decrease acid production.

Prokinetics

Prokinetics work by strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter and helping your stomach empty faster.

Foaming agents

Foaming agents provide relief by coating your stomach.

Proton pump inhibitors

Like H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors limit the amount of acid your stomach produces.

If a doctor prescribes you acid reflux medication, make sure not to combine it with another medication without getting their approval first.

Acid reflux is, at least, uncomfortable, and at worst, disruptive. Put a stop to it today by consulting with the team at Sean R. Thomas, MD, Inc. & Associates. Schedule your appointment online or over the phone.