Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux services offered in Florence, MA

About 15 million people experience acid reflux every day, and 60 million experience the uncomfortable issue at least once monthly. At Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC, in Florence, Massachusetts, the experienced team of board-certified gastroenterologists uses evidence-based strategies to effectively diagnose and treat acid reflux and GERD. Call the office to get help for acid reflux now. 

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a backwash of digestive acids from your stomach. Normally, the ring of muscle at the end of the esophagus opens to let food into the stomach and then closes tightly to prevent the food and digestive acids from coming back up into your throat. 

When you have acid reflux, the ring of muscle doesn’t close tightly enough. The gastric acid backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of your esophagus, causing discomfort and other symptoms. 

About 60 million adults have acid reflux at least once a month. Acid reflux can worsen and increase in frequency. Regular or frequent acid reflux is a serious medical condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

Some people with acid reflux or GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which your esophageal lining grows red, thickened, and rough due to constant acid irritation. Barrett’s esophagus increases your risk of a specific type of esophageal cancer.

Who is at risk for acid reflux and GERD?

Acid reflux and GERD occur more frequently in people who:

  • Struggle with their weight
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Eat late at night
  • Eat large portion sizes of heavy foods
  • Drink alcohol
  • Drink coffee

Other factors can also cause or contribute to acid reflux and GERD as well. Certain conditions, including connective tissue disorders and hiatal hernias, can also lead to acid reflux or GERD. In addition, some medications may trigger these conditions.

What symptoms does acid reflux cause?

Acid reflux and GERD can cause many uncomfortable issues, including: 

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Burning sensation or pain in your chest (heartburn)
  • A sensation of a lump in your throat
  • Sore throat
  • Bad taste in the back of your mouth
  • Throwing up stomach contents

Acid reflux symptoms are often worse after eating. With GERD, you could have symptoms almost every time you eat. 

How is acid reflux diagnosed?

The Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC team uses the newest diagnostic tools to diagnose acid reflux and GERD. You may need tests such as endoscopy, ambulatory acid (pH) testing, and esophageal manometry to verify your condition and plan appropriate treatment. 

How is acid reflux treated?

The Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC team recommends personalized treatment plans for acid reflux and GERD. Common recommendations include: 

  • Weight management
  • Smaller meals
  • Avoiding eating before bedtime
  • Avoiding trigger foods like citrus and tomato sauce  
  • Quitting smoking
  • Taking antacids

Some people need medication like beta-blockers or proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid and ease symptoms. In severe cases of GERD, you may need surgery to tighten the muscle that controls reflux. 

Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC uses effective strategies to treat acid reflux, so call the office to get help now.