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If you experience frequent bouts of heartburn that are impacting your quality of life, you may have acid reflux. Acid reflux can become a chronic condition that makes it difficult to eat or handle routine tasks. At HELLOMED walk-in clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, experienced physicians offer accurate diagnostic testing and effective treatments for acid reflux symptoms. To prevent acid reflux from affecting your life, schedule an appointment online, by phone or walk-in.

Acid Reflux (Gerd) Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when the muscle at the end of your esophagus doesn’t close properly and allows the contents of the stomach to leak into the esophagus. It causes discomfort and a burning sensation in your throat.

Weak muscles are the reason the esophagus stops working properly. Esophageal muscles can become weak due to:

  • Age

  • Obesity

  • Medications

  • Smoking or secondhand smoke

  • Pregnancy

In some cases, a hiatal hernia may cause acid reflux. This type of hernia occurs when the diaphragm allows the upper part of the stomach to move into the chest and lowers the pressure in the esophageal muscle.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

When stomach acid flows into the esophagus, you experience a burning sensation in your throat, and your chest referred to as heartburn. Not everyone with acid reflux experiences heartburn. Some may have difficulty swallowing or trouble breathing.

Other symptoms of acid reflux may include:

  • Bad taste in the back of your mouth

  • Dry cough

  • Pain in your chest or abdomen

  • Tooth decay

How is acid reflux treated?

Your HELLOMED doctor reviews your symptoms and your medical history to make an accurate diagnosis. If you have occasional acid reflux symptoms, they may first recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce symptoms of acid reflux and prevent their recurrence. These changes may include:

  • Avoiding greasy and spicy foods

  • Avoiding chocolate and coffee

  • Reducing alcohol intake

  • Not eating before bed

  • Losing weight

  • Quitting smoking

Your diet is a significant factor in acid reflux symptoms. In addition to increasing healthy foods in your diet, your doctor may also recommend eating smaller meals more frequently. A healthier diet can also help promote weight loss, which may reduce pressure on the muscles of the esophagus.

For moderate symptoms of acid reflux, your doctor at HELLOMED may recommend medications to reduce acid production and reduce inflammation and irritation in your esophagus.

Medications may include:

  • Over-the-counter antacids

  • H2 blockers

  • Proton pump inhibitors

If these treatments aren’t effective in relieving your acid reflux symptoms, your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist for additional treatment or surgery.

To learn more about effective treatments for acid reflux, walk into the clinic or schedule an appointment online or by phone.

Red, irritated eyes may be more than just allergies. Pink eye is a common, contagious eye infection. At HELLOMED in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the dedicated team of physicians provides prompt treatment to prevent the spread of the infection and alleviate pain and irritation in your eye. To learn more about treatments for pink eye, visit the clinic as a walk-in, or schedule an appointment online, by phone, or simply walk-in.

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