Symptoms and Diagnosis Acid Reflux

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Acid reflux is when you experience a burning sensation in the lower chest area. When food reaches your stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter acts as a valve that closes to prevent stomach acid from rising to the esophagus. Acid reflux San Antonio happens when this valve does not function correctly, allowing stomach acid to move back to your esophagus. Heartburn and a sour taste in your mouth are the common symptoms of acid reflux. Pregnancy, being obese, taking heavy meals before bed, and certain drinks and foods can increase the risk of acid reflux.

Table of Contents

Symptoms

The symptoms you will experience will depend on the organs affected by the stomach acid. The acid reflux effects are more common when lying down, bending over, and after a heavy, fatty, or spicy meal. The common symptoms of acid influx include:

Heartburn: Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest or throat and the most common acid reflux symptom. The stomach is protected from the corrosive effects of its acid. If the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter is altered, the acid will flow from the stomach to the esophagus, causing heartburn. Heartburn can cause discomfort or pain.

Sour taste: If stomach acid rises back to your throat or mouth, you can experience a bitter taste in your mouth. A burning sensation can occur in your throat and mouth.

Regurgitation: This symptom involves the feeling of liquid or food moving up your throat. Sometimes you can even vomit.

Dyspepsia: A burning feeling and discomfort in the upper middle of your stomach is known as dyspepsia. It can accompany bloating, nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting.

Dysphagia: This condition is where you have difficulty or pain swallowing.

Diagnosis

Symptoms: Your doctor will ask about the symptoms you are experiencing. Heartburn and regurgitation are the main symptoms of acid reflux that help in diagnosis. If lifestyle changes, antacids, and acid-blocking medications do not improve your acid reflux symptoms, your doctor can recommend other tests such as:

Barium swallow: Also known as esophagram, can be used to check for ulcers or esophagus narrowing. Your doctor gives a specific solution you swallow to provide a better view of structures on an X-ray.

Esophageal manometry: This test helps to check the functioning and movement of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.

PH monitoring: Your doctor can check for acid levels in your esophagus using a pH monitor. The process involves the doctor inserting a device into your esophagus and leaving it for one or two days to measure the amount of acid.

Endoscopy: This procedure involves your doctor spraying an anesthetic at the back of your throat and giving you a sedative to enhance comfort. Your specialist then inserts a long, flexible, lighted tube attached to a tiny camera down your throat. It checks for disorders in your esophagus or stomach.

Biopsy: During endoscopy, the doctor can take a sample of your tissue and observe it under a microscope to check for infections or abnormalities.

Fortunately, acid reflux can be treated and managed by medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Schedule an appointment at Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC for acid reflux treatment to relieve its discomforting symptoms.

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