Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is causing my acid reflux problem?"
I have tried every kind of diet I can think of but still get sick to my stomach and get an acid feeling in my chest and throat when I eat anything. What is causing this? I've eliminated everything I can think of from my diet and it doesn't help.
Gastro-esophageal reflux (or GERD for short) is a very common condition. It is caused by the abnormal movement of acid up into the esophagus from the stomach. Normally a sphincter known as the lower esophageal sphincter acts to prevent acid movement from the stomach to the esophagus. Since GERD is so common, we have a variety of different therapeutic options. The first option is dietary change which you have tried. Eliminating alcohol, chocolate, spicy foods, and smoking are all good first options. After that, you should look into getting on a medication. The first line medications today are from a class known as the proton pump inhibitors (example omeprazole, or Prilosec). They reduce acid content in the stomach and really help with GERD symptoms. If these don't work, then there are other options including surgery to reduce the amount of acid that moves up into the esophagus. Either way this is something you should get fixed because leaving it alone can be detrimental to your health. The best physician for you to consult with about this issue is your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your symptoms, make some suggestions on how to relieve them, and prescribe the appropriate proton pump inhibitor. Good luck.
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