Many Americans suffer from the occasional bout of heartburn or acid indigestion. While the random case of reflux is hardly a cause for concern, more frequent reflux could hint at other serious GI issues. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, is a condition in which the continuous leakage of stomach acid causes the esophagus to become irritated. Left untreated, GERD can lead to additional health complications like Barrett’s esophagus and even esophageal cancer. For this reason, people with GERD should monitor their condition and seek treatment to alleviate reflux symptoms.
The board-certified GI specialists at La Peer have compiled a list of ten signs that could indicate your heartburn is actually GERD or acid reflux. If you meet any of the below criteria, or if you find that heartburn is regularly interfering with your ability to enjoy life, please don’t hesitate to contact the Reflux Center of Excellence for a consultation.
Top Ten Signs Your Heartburn Is Actually Acid Reflux
1. You experience heartburn two or more times per week.
2. Your heartburn is more painful or severe than it was in the past.
3. You wake up in the middle of the night or have trouble sleeping due to heartburn.
4. You have trouble swallowing foods or liquids.
5. Antacids and/or anti-reflux medications are no longer sufficient to relieve your heartburn symptoms.
6. Your reflux is worse after meals or exercise.
7. You notice unexplained weight loss or a loss of appetite.
8. You have a chronic dry cough.
9. You experience persistent bad breath.
10. You develop asthma or notice that asthma symptoms worsen.
If you experience one or more of the above indicators, you may want to consider visiting the Reflux Center of Excellence to undergo screening for GERD.
The doctors at the Reflux Center perform a number of state-of-the-art tests to diagnose acid reflux and GERD. An EGD or upper endoscopy is an outpatient procedure that allows physicians to visualize the esophagus, stomach and small intestines. Most upper endoscopies last only 20 minutes and provide an effective means of diagnosing GERD and Barrett’s esophagus. For patients who are hesitant to undergo sedation, a revolutionary procedure called the ESO pill, or capsule endoscopy, provides a great alternative. After swallowing a small pill-shaped camera, patients take sips of water while the camera transmits images of the esophagus and digestive tract to a recording device. ESO is an especially exciting option for patients with GERD or Barrett’s esophagus who may need to monitor their condition over time.
While you may be hesitant to undergo screening for GERD, it’s important to remember that a number of effective treatments exist for this troublesome condition. Contacting the specialists at the Reflux Center is the first step to alleviate heartburn pain and discomfort and getting you back to living life fully.
Contact Our Acid Reflux Specialists
Possessing unique training from top-tier medical schools, the GI doctors at the Reflux Center are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. To schedule an appointment with our team, call (888) 593-1042 or contact us online.