If persistent burning in your throat, especially after meals, is interfering with your life, you may have a condition known as acid reflux. Gateway Gastroenterology in Chesterfield, Missouri, offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for acid reflux to alleviate your discomfort and prevent additional medical issues from developing. If over-the-counter medications aren’t helping your acid reflux symptoms, schedule a consultation by calling the office or requesting an appointment online today.
Acid reflux occurs when your stomach contents back up in your esophagus, the tube that carries foods from your mouth to your stomach, causing a persistent burning sensation in your throat.
In the lower part of your esophagus, there’s a ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter that tightens up to prevent food and acid from backing up into your esophagus after you eat. When this muscle doesn’t function properly, it may not close all the way, allowing acid and other materials to flow back through.
You may also develop acid reflux due to a hiatal hernia, a condition where the weakened diaphragm muscles allow your stomach to slip into your chest.
In addition to the persistent burning sensation in your throat, other common symptoms of acid reflux include:
Due to the acid in your throat, you may also experience a bad taste in your mouth. This acid can gradually damage your teeth and ultimately lead to dental disease.
To confirm you have acid reflux and to rule out underlying medical conditions, your physician at Gateway Gastroenterology may request an endoscopy. This procedure involves a small, flexible tube that travels into your stomach and small intestine through your esophagus.
The tube has an attached camera that transmits real-time images on an external monitor. Your physician can detect damage to the lining of your esophagus and identify other abnormalities that may be causing your acid reflux.
Your physician may initially recommend lifestyle changes that include losing weight and improving your physical activity level. To reduce the content of acid in your stomach, they may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications that you take before meals.
Treatment for acid reflux is customized to each patient, and your physician at Gateway Gastroenterology can provide literature to you as you progress through the treatment process.
To learn more about your options for treating acid reflux, request a consultation online or by calling the office today.