Acid Reflux in New Orleans, LA
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What is acid reflux?
When an individual swallows food or liquids, they pass through our esophagus and into our stomach. In between the esophagus and stomach, there is a muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle opens and closes, permitting the passage of food into the stomach.
All individuals have stomach acid to help digest the food we consume. Unfortunately, if the LES does not close completely, it can allow some of the acid to flow in reverse and into the esophagus, sometimes causing damage and/or progressing to long-term acid reflux. This is what we experience as “heartburn” from acid reflux because the acid creates the sensation of burning. At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, our experienced gastrointestinal providers commonly treat acid reflux and can help relieve heartburn and related symptoms. If you need to find a specialist who offers acid reflux treatment in New Orleans, LA, reach out to a location in your community today.
What are the causes acid reflux or heartburn?
Although acid reflux is extremely common, there is not one, specific, cause of acid reflux. There are several reasons for a loss of strength in the LES which could then allow stomach acid to move back up the digestive tract. Acid reflux could be caused by certain foods, medications, pre-existing conditions, or some activities following the consumption of food. Varying factors can have an impact on a patient's acid reflux in extremely unique ways. Examples of common factors contributing to acid reflux could include:
- Alcohol (particularly red wine)
- Bubbly drinks
- Consuming caffeine
- Specific medications (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, and those for blood pressure)
- Having a weak or sub-optimal LES
- Low-fiber diet
- Being obese or overweight
- Hiatal hernia
- Eating a heavy meal then lying down
- Fatty or spicy foods
- Peppermint, chocolate, raw onions, garlic, black pepper, tomatoes, citrus fruits
What are common acid reflux symptoms?
Oftentimes, acid reflux is referred to as heartburn. Common acid reflux symptoms can include:
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- Unintentional weight loss
- The feeling of a lump in the throat
- Pain in the chest
If you are dealing with any of these symptoms persistently, then you could suffer from a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If that is the situation, please contact a local Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates provider at your earliest convenience.
How do I relieve acid reflux?
The best and most successful method for relieving acid reflux is to consult with a board-certified GI specialist in New Orleans, LA. However, there are also some lifestyle changes that you can implement that might assist in lessening the frequency and severity of your symptoms. These may include (but are not limited) to:
- Not eating for, a minimum of, two hours before laying down to sleep
- Telling your GI provider about the medication you are currently taking
- Limiting your intake of caffeine
- Being sure to stand or sit upright after eating
- Avoidance of "trigger" beverages and foods
- Eating in moderation and at a slow speed
- Sleeping at an incline with your feet lower than your head
- Stop smoking
- Losing weight (if overweight)
What is the difference between GERD and acid reflux?
Most adults have known the burning feeling of acid reflux at some point during their lives. However, GERD is a more concerning and chronic type of acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is typically diagnosed when one suffers from swelling in your esophagus as well as acid reflux more than two times per week. If you struggle with indications of acid reflux three times a week or more, we urge you to visit a New Orleans, LA GI specialist at your earliest opportunity.
Find treatment for acid reflux
When recurring acid reflux or other bothersome GI issues occur, partner with a GI specialist to find relief. The skilled providers at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates aim to educate and help people with digestive health conditions, such as acid reflux and GERD. If you suspect GERD or need help for acid reflux in New Orleans, LA, contact our team today to request a consultation.
Acid Reflux FAQs
How do I know when to see a doctor for acid reflux?
It is suggested to contact a GI doctor if you experience acid reflux symptoms twice or more weekly, as this may indicate gastrointestinal reflux disease. GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux that can cause damage to the upper digestive tract if treatment is not received. The team at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates can evaluate your current symptoms and determine a diagnosis for the condition. Our providers can also help you identify any triggers of acid reflux to reduce your symptoms.
How long should it take acid reflux to improve after I begin treatment?
Treatment for acid reflux typically includes a combination of medication and changes in your diet. Once you start treatment, it could take up to three weeks before your body begins to heal and experience results.
What foods and beverages should I avoid if I have acid reflux?
Some beverages and foods can instigate or increase acid reflux symptoms. Items you may want to stay away from if you suffer from acid reflux include:
- High-fat foods
- Greasy foods
- Spicy foods
- Caffeinated or carbonated drinks (such as seltzer, soda, tea, and coffee)
What are some ways to relieve acid reflux outside of medication?
While prescription and OTC (over-the-counter) medications can ease symptoms of acid reflux, other options might also help. These involve:
- Consider a weight loss program if you are obese or overweight. Your physician can help create a diet and exercise regimen based on your unique goals and needs.
- Don’t go to sleep right after you’ve eaten. It can be beneficial to finish eating about three hours before going to bed so the acid stays inside the stomach rather than regurgitate.
- Quit smoking or using other tobacco products.
- Consume more meals in smaller quantities each day rather than three large meals. This can help you avoid becoming too full, which can increase the effects of reflux.
He is such a wonderful doctor and is very nice, always addresses every concern and everyone that works in the office with him is very nice and helpful.
If you’re having GI concerns or worries, he is the doctor that will take the time to go through each and every worry with you. I could not have been more appreciative to have come across a doctor that did not rush me while I had to sit and think about everything that has been going on and what was important to mention that I could have forgotten. He’s thorough. He will order scans and tests to see what is going on.
Dr.Herbert Mayer is a great Doctor takes plenty of time discussing all your concerns does not rush your appointment. He is very articulate and gives practical ideas on acid reflux. I highly recommend him.
Humorously professional and explained things plain and simple..Visit was very nice
i love love Dr lemann she goes over and beyond to make sure her patients are safe comfortable and she listens to what ever concerns you have i would recommend anyone to her