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Acid Reflux Treatment Options

Acid reflux, also known as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition where the acid from the stomach flows back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) and other symptoms.

Obesity, pregnancy, smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a variety of foods can contribute to reflux symptoms. There are several treatment options available for managing acid reflux and heartburn. Here are some commonly used approaches:

Making certain changes in your daily habits and diet can help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux.

  • Avoid trigger foods and beverages: Certain foods and beverages can trigger acid reflux, such as spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and fatty or fried foods, and carbonated drinks can trigger heartburn. Learn about your trigger foods and drinks and avoid them.
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals rather than large meals. Large meals can put pressure on the stomach, increasing the likelihood of reflux. Opt for smaller meals and avoid eating close to bedtime.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can contribute to acid reflux. If you are overweight, losing weight may help reduce symptoms.
  • Avoiding lying down or going to bed immediately after eating.
  • Elevating the head of your bed by 6-8 inches to prevent acid reflux during sleep.

Several OTC medications can provide relief from acid reflux symptoms including:

  • Antacids: OTC antacids can provide temporary relief by neutralizing stomach acid. Examples are TUMS and Rolaids.
  • H2 blockers: These medications reduce the production of stomach acid and can provide relief for a longer duration. Examples include ranitidine (Zantac) and famotidine (Pepcidâ).
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): PPIs are stronger acid reducers and are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Examples include omeprazole (Prilosecâ), esomeprazole (Nexiumâ), and lansoprazole (Prevacidâ). PPIs are typically used for more severe or chronic cases of acid reflux.

If OTC medications don’t effectively control your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications such as prescription-strength H2 blockers or PPIs.

In some cases, surgery may be recommended if medications and lifestyle modifications fail to provide relief. Surgical options include:

Fundoplication is a procedure that strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) by wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the lower esophagus to strengthen the valve and prevent acid reflux.

LINXâ device is a medical device that is used to treat GERD and acid reflux. The LINX device is a small, flexible ring of magnetic beads that is implanted around the lower end of the esophagus, just above the stomach to reinforce the LES. Surgery is minimally invasive and reversible.

It’s important to consult a gastroenterologist at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates in Rockford, Illinois to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. We can evaluate the severity of your condition and recommend the most suitable treatment options for you.

Contact Rockford Gastroenterology Associates to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified professionals in our state-of-the-art offices today.

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