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Heartburn and Esophageal Reflux

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Heartburn Esophageal Reflux

Brien Roche

Heartburn or what may be called esophageal reflux is something that most of us experience at one time or another.  In its more extreme form it can develop into what is called gastroesophageal reflux disease also known as GERD.

Heartburn Esophageal Reflux-Stomach Acid

The stomach produces acid which is what assists the body in breaking down food that we eat.  At the bottom part of the esophagus, which is the tube that allows the food to enter the stomach, there is a muscle. That is called a sphincter. It closes after the food has entered the stomach. This prevents the stomach acid from traveling back up the esophagus.  Heartburn is caused by some of that stomach acid being able to bypass that sphincter muscle and get back into the esophagus. 

Heartburn becomes troublesome if you are having it often. That is more than twice a week. It is also a problem if it continues for a long period of time or if the food is coming back up. Stomach acid entering back into the esophagus is also a danger.

That acid causes burning and eroding of the lining of the esophagus.  All of that can result in bleeding, scarring and actual shrinkage of the esophagus.  That type of repeated exposure to injury likewise then makes the esophagus more prone to cancer.  That is true of probably any body part that is exposed to repeated injury. The repeated injuries can result in abnormal cell growth. This is what cancer is.  Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Ways to Avoid Reflux

There are a number of ways to avoid reflux. Staying upright for several hours after a large meal allows gravity to do its work. This prevents the acid from moving upward. Eating smaller portions results in less congestion of food. This reduces the pressure on the acid to move upward. Fried or fatty foods, carbonated drinks and citrus all promote heartburn Stay away from them. Finally wearing loose clothing puts less pressure on the stomach and likewise reduces upward pressure.

Treatment for Heartburn and Esophageal Reflux

If a GI doctor suspects GERD, then she may order an upper endoscopy. This is a procedure by which a flexible tube with a scope on the end of it is passed through your throat and down into the esophagus in order to survey the landscape.

Another treatment for GERD is medication that is called PPI. This is a medication that reduces the amount of stomach acid that is being produced in the stomach.

As a last resort surgery may be an option.  The surgery that is called for is performed laparoscopically. This involves sewing the upper part of the stomach around the lower part of the esophagus. This strengthens the sphincter muscle and thereby allows it to work better. It cuts off the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. 

As is true with any surgery, this carries side effects including, but not limited to, infection, subsequent difficulty swallowing and potentially a hernia. 

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more information on heartburnsee the posting on Wikipedia.

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Heartburn and Esophageal Reflux

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Heartburn Esophageal Reflux

Brien Roche

Heartburn or what may be called esophageal reflux is something that most of us experience at one time or another.  In its more extreme form it can develop into what is called gastroesophageal reflux disease also known as GERD.

Heartburn Esophageal Reflux-Stomach Acid

The stomach produces acid which is what assists the body in breaking down food that we eat.  At the bottom part of the esophagus, which is the tube that allows the food to enter the stomach, there is a muscle. That is called a sphincter. It closes after the food has entered the stomach. This prevents the stomach acid from traveling back up the esophagus.  Heartburn is caused by some of that stomach acid being able to bypass that sphincter muscle and get back into the esophagus. 

Heartburn becomes troublesome if you are having it often. That is more than twice a week. It is also a problem if it continues for a long period of time or if the food is coming back up. Stomach acid entering back into the esophagus is also a danger.

That acid causes burning and eroding of the lining of the esophagus.  All of that can result in bleeding, scarring and actual shrinkage of the esophagus.  That type of repeated exposure to injury likewise then makes the esophagus more prone to cancer.  That is true of probably any body part that is exposed to repeated injury. The repeated injuries can result in abnormal cell growth. This is what cancer is.  Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Ways to Avoid Reflux

There are a number of ways to avoid reflux. Staying upright for several hours after a large meal allows gravity to do its work. This prevents the acid from moving upward. Eating smaller portions results in less congestion of food. This reduces the pressure on the acid to move upward. Fried or fatty foods, carbonated drinks and citrus all promote heartburn Stay away from them. Finally wearing loose clothing puts less pressure on the stomach and likewise reduces upward pressure.

Treatment for Heartburn and Esophageal Reflux

If a GI doctor suspects GERD, then she may order an upper endoscopy. This is a procedure by which a flexible tube with a scope on the end of it is passed through your throat and down into the esophagus in order to survey the landscape.

Another treatment for GERD is medication that is called PPI. This is a medication that reduces the amount of stomach acid that is being produced in the stomach.

As a last resort surgery may be an option.  The surgery that is called for is performed laparoscopically. This involves sewing the upper part of the stomach around the lower part of the esophagus. This strengthens the sphincter muscle and thereby allows it to work better. It cuts off the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. 

As is true with any surgery, this carries side effects including, but not limited to, infection, subsequent difficulty swallowing and potentially a hernia. 

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more information on heartburnsee the posting on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation