ZocdocAnswersHow do I get rid of acid reflux?

Question

How do I get rid of acid reflux?

My acid reflux is just getting out of control. Nothing helps. What can I do to get rid of it? I already did everything my doctor said but still have all of the symptoms.

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that you have such bad reflux symptoms, and that your physician has been working with you to try to improve them. As you are probably already aware, "reflux", or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is not only bothersome from a symptomatic standpoint, but it also has serious health consequences. Basically what is happening is that gastric acid and stomach contents are "refluxing" back up into the esophagus. Since the lining of the esophagus isn't made to resist this acid, it becomes very irritated and gives the symptoms that most people with reflux experience. This inflammation is chronic can actually lead to tissue changes (called metaplasia) and something called Barrett's esophagus which can ultimately lead to cancer. In general there are a couple different ways to think about reflux. Too much acid, acid not leaving the stomach fast enough (i.e. delayed gastric emptying), or malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter (also called the cardiac sphincter) is a circular muscle that is supposed to contract and prevent gastric contents from going back up into the esophagus. There are a number of different medications that can be used to treat GERD, and proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are probably the largest class. Being that I can't take your history, look at your medical records to see what has been tried, or examine you, I would recommend that you make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to get examined. They will be the best equipped to answer your specific questions, and tell you what the next step is in managing your problem. Best of luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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