Acid reflux, heartburn, acid indigestion -- they all mean the same thing: a burning, intense pain in your chest caused by stomach acid flowing back up your esophagus. If you're having acid reflux problems, the board-certified physicians at Gotham Gastroenterology can relieve your pain. At their locations throughout New York City in the Midtown East and Financial District neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, Gotham Gastroenterology uses advanced techniques like esophageal manometry, esophageal pH impedance study, and upper GI endoscopy to assess your acid reflux. Call the office nearest you today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Acid reflux is a painful condition caused by a problem at the very bottom of your esophagus – the pipe that connects your throat to your stomach. People often refer to acid reflux as acid indigestion or heartburn due to the burning pain it causes in the area of your chest close to your heart, but the condition doesn't have any link to your heart.
When you eat or drink, the food and liquids you swallow go down your esophagus to your stomach. There's a highly corrosive acid in your stomach that helps break down food before it travels through your intestines. The acid doesn't normally damage your stomach lining, which is naturally resistant.
At the point where your esophagus joins your stomach is the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a small band of muscle that lets food and water go through into your stomach, but stops acid from coming back up out of your stomach.
If the LES weakens, it can't form a complete seal. The result is a reflux of stomach acid up your esophagus, which inflames the sensitive tissues and causes burning pain.
Acid reflux is typically a consequence of lifestyle choices and their effects, for example:
Certain medications can bring on acid reflux, and it's also a common problem during pregnancy. As your baby gets bigger, it compresses your internal organs more and more, making your acid reflux worse as the pregnancy progresses.
The Gotham Gastroenterology team uses advanced techniques, including esophageal manometry and esophageal pH impedance studies, to assess your acid reflux.
As the root causes of acid reflux are usually related to lifestyle issues, addressing these habits is the most effective way of treating acid reflux. Your gastroenterologist at Gotham Gastroenterology can advise and support you with making changes like eating a healthier diet, avoiding foods and drinks that trigger acid reflux, losing weight, and stopping smoking.
If you have mild acid reflux, you can also take medications such as over-the-counter antacids to relieve your symptoms. Severe or chronic acid reflux may require prescription medications like proton pump inhibitors to reduce the production of stomach acid.
Lifestyle changes and medication are effective for most patients who have acid reflux. However, if you have a more chronic form of acid reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you might need to undergo a procedure to repair or replace the LES.
If you're regularly experiencing acid reflux, call Gotham Gastroenterology today, or book an appointment online.