acid reflux doctor

Acid Reflux/GORD

Suffering from acid reflux, also known as heartburn and indigestion? Whether your symptoms are recent or you have been suffering with symptoms of acid reflux over the longer term, specialist healthcare is available to help reduce, or relieve the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. Like many gastrointestinal conditions, acid reflux can be treated successfully following diagnosis.

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Consultation with a specialist and diagnosis is the first step to feeling better

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    Causes of Acid Reflux

    Acid reflux is a digestive disorder caused when the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS) isn’t working properly. The LOS is a ring of muscles located at the base of the oesophagus, which relaxes to allow food to pass into the stomach. It also contracts to prevent food, or acid from the stomach from passing back upwards. When this muscle is not functioning properly, acid/stomach contents can travel back up the oesophagus causing various symptoms from a burning sensation in the chest to a nasty, acidic taste in the mouth. Causes of acid reflux can simply be related to diet and lifestyle choices, as well as eating habits, as well as just getting older. Sometimes a change in one or more of these factors is enough to relieve symptoms.

    Acid reflux can be linked to:
    • Weight gain and obesity
    • Foods that affect the LOS such as caffeine, chocolate and fatty foods
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol
    • Eating large meals that overload the digestive system
    • Eating meals late at night and then lying down too soon
    • Tight fitting clothing
    • Pregnancy
    • Certain drugs (eg tricyclic antidepressants, anticholinergics, nitrates and calcium-channel blockers)
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    Acid reflux is common and more likely to occur in men, than women.

    Longer-term, persistent acid travelling back up toward the mouth can cause an erosion of the oesophagus lining, as well as scarring or ulcers that may cause the oesophagus to narrow. Acid reflux can also lead to changes in the cells lining the oesophagus, a condition known as Barrett’s oesophagus. Whilst rare, Barrett’s oesophagus can lead to oesophageal cancer, so precautions need to be taken to correctly identify the condition and treat the symptoms at the right time

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    Symptoms of Acid Reflux

    Most people will experience acid reflux symptoms occasionally, for example following a heavy meal, or on holiday when there can be a change in diet to richer food. However, if symptoms are occurring on a more regular basis it is likely that there is an underlying problem.

    Are you experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis?

    • A burning feeling in the stomach and lower chest, usually after eating
    • Regurgitation of acid or bile, or food contents shortly after eating
    • Vomiting after eating
    • Excessive salivation
    • Pain when swallowing
    • Respiratory symptoms, including hoarse voice, cough, wheezing and shortness of breath
    Doctors Who Can Treat Acid Reflux / GORD
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