Are spicy foods leaving you with a burning sensation in the back of your throat? It could be acid reflux.
Most people will deal with acid reflux at some point during their lifetime. This digestive problem often results in a burning sensation within the chest and throat that most often occurs after eating. Read on to learn more about acid reflux's warning signs, and when it's appropriate to turn to our Houston gastroenterologist, Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker, for care and for help in managing the occasional bouts of acid reflux on your own.
What causes acid reflux?
There are certain conditions or habits that could increase your risk for acid reflux. Some of these factors include,
- Having a hiatal hernia
- Eating a large meal
- Lying down immediately after eating
- Being overweight or obese
- Eating close to bedtime
- Eating spicy, fatty and acidic foods
- Drinking alcohol, coffee, or carbonated beverages
- Being pregnant
How do I know that I have acid reflux?
You could be dealing with acid reflux if you experience,
- A burning sensation in your stomach that may travel up to your throat (known as heartburn)
- A sour taste or acid traveling up your throat (referred to as regurgitation)
- Frequent burping
- Bloating after meals
- Hoarseness or a persistent sore throat
- The sensation of food stuck in your throat
When should I see a doctor?
It’s time to consult with our Houston gastroenterologist if you’ve been experiencing acid reflux for more than two times a week or if over-the-counter medications haven’t alleviated your symptoms. It is important that you get the treatment you need to manage your symptoms, as untreated acid reflux can lead to serious esophageal damage. You should also see your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe heartburn.
How is acid reflux treated?
Most people see amazing results and a reduction in their acid reflux just by making minor lifestyle adjustments. Avoiding foods and drinks that can trigger symptoms can greatly reduce heartburn symptoms. Other lifestyle changes that can improve acid reflux disease include:
- Eater smaller and more frequent meals over larger meals
- Quitting smoking
- Losing excess weight
- Raising the head of your bed while you sleep
- Not eating about 2-3 hours before going to bed
- Avoiding alcohol, soda, and caffeine
Along with lifestyle modifications, your gastroenterologist may also prescribe medication that can reduce or even completely block the production of acid within the stomach. Those with minor symptoms may respond to simple over-the-counter medications, while those with more severe symptoms may need a prescription antacid, H2 blocker or proton pump inhibitor.
Need relief? Give us a call
Are you living with acid reflux right now? If you are having trouble getting your acid reflux under control with over-the-counter medications or if you are concerned about the symptoms you are experiencing, turn to the experts at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants by dialing (713) 777-2555.