Acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion all refer to a common condition that many adults experience on a regular basis. Dr. Matthew Levin is a family physician with offices in Delmont and Greensburg, Pennsylvania who helps patients of all ages get lasting relief from the burning symptoms of acid reflux disease. You don’t have to live with uncomfortable symptoms. Call for an appointment at either location or schedule one online.
Acid reflux, or heartburn, happens when some of the hydrochloric acid from your stomach flows up into your esophagus. Hydrochloric acid is a powerful digestive agent that helps break down food and protect your system from bacteria. The lining of your stomach can handle the strong acid, but your esophagus is more delicate.
Acid can flow into your esophagus when the valve to your stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t close all the way or opens too often. When then acid flows upward, you experience an uncomfortable burning in your chest, also known as acid indigestion. Although the cause isn’t completely clear, acid reflux and asthma often occur together, and each one can cause symptoms of the other to get worse.
One risk factor for developing acid reflux disease is a hiatal hernia. This is a stomach abnormality in which the upper part of your stomach and LES move above your diaphragm. When this happens, acid has a better chance of leaving your stomach and entering your esophagus.
Other risk factors include:
In addition to a burning sensation in your chest, common symptoms of acid reflux include:
Most adults, and even children, experience acid reflux occasionally, but if your symptoms are persistent and occur more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Because chronic heartburn can lead to serious health complications, you should seek medical attention. Dr. Levin assesses your symptoms and offers effective treatment options.
Lifestyle changes, like losing weight and improving your diet may help alleviate symptoms and the frequency of acid reflux disease. Additionally, over-the-counter antacids in liquid or tablet form might help if your symptoms are mild. For GERD, Dr. Levin may prescribe medications that help decrease the acid production in your stomach.
Most men and women can successfully manage the symptoms of acid reflux. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Levin to find out more. Use the online booking tool or call either location in Delmont or Greensburg.