Acid Reflux in St. Louis, MO
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What is acid reflux?
Anytime we ingest food or liquids, they pass from our esophagus into our stomach. Between our esophagus and stomach, there is a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle opens and closes, allowing the passage of food into the stomach.
We all have acid in our stomach to assist in the digestion of the food we consume. Unfortunately, if the LES fails to close all the way, it can allow a portion of the acid to flow backward and into the esophagus, sometimes doing damage and/or progressing to chronic acid reflux. This is what we experience as “heartburn” from acid reflux because the acid causes a burning sensation. At Specialists in Gastroenterology, our board-certified GI providers routinely treat acid reflux and can help reduce heartburn and other symptoms. If you need to find a specialist who offers acid reflux treatment in St. Louis, MO, please contact one of our locations today.
What causes acid reflux or heartburn?
While acid reflux is quite common, there is not one, primary, cause of acid reflux. Many factors might contribute to the weakening of the LES, which subsequently allows stomach acid to move back up the digestive tract. Acid reflux could be brought on by a number of medications, foods, pre-existing conditions, or even activities following eating. Several factors can have an impact on a patient's acid reflux in very different ways. A few common causes of acid reflux could include:
- Spicy or fatty foods
- Chocolate, citrus fruits, peppermint, tomatoes, black pepper, garlic, and raw onions
- A weak or sub-optimal LES
- Bubbly drinks
- Lying down quickly after eating
- Hiatal hernia
- Consumption of alcohol (red wine in particular)
- Certain medications (such as ibuprofen, aspirin, muscle relaxers, and those for blood pressure)
- A diet low in fiber
- Being a smoker
- Being overweight or obese
- Being or becoming pregnant
What are the common symptoms of acid reflux?
Acid reflux is commonly called heartburn. Typical acid reflux symptoms could include:
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- Pain in the chest
- The sensation of a lump in the throat
- Unintentional weight loss
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms regularly, you may be suffering from a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Our Specialists in Gastroenterology providers routinely treat conditions like acid reflux and GERD and are standing by to help you get back on the path to optimal wellness.
How do I relieve acid reflux?
The best and most successful way to relieve acid reflux is to consult with a board-certified gastroenterologist in St. Louis, MO. However, there are also some changes in your lifestyle that you can implement that can help lessen the severity and frequency of symptoms. These could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Consistently standing or sitting upright after eating
- Eating in moderation and at a slow speed
- Disclosing to your GI provider about current medications you are taking
- Sleeping at an incline with your head raised above your feet
- Stopping smoking
- Not eating for, at least, 120 minutes before going to bed
- Losing weight (if considered overweight)
- Avoidance of "trigger" beverages and foods
- Limiting your intake of caffeine
What is the difference between GERD and acid reflux?
The majority of adults have experienced the burning feeling of acid reflux at some point over time. However, GERD is the more severe and near constant type of acid reflux. GERD is most often diagnosed when you experience acid reflux more than twice a week along with inflammation in your esophagus. If you suffer from indications of acid reflux three times a week or more, please consult a GI specialist immediately.
Get help managing your acid reflux
If consistent acid reflux or other bothersome GI symptoms occur, it is important to contact a gastroenterologist. The distinguished providers at your nearest Specialists in Gastroenterology location work hard to educate and treat individuals with GI conditions, such as acid reflux and GERD. If you suspect GERD or need treatment for acid reflux in St. Louis, MO, reach out to our team today to request a consultation.
When Tonya first took me back for my colonoscopy, I was concerned. She was not friendly or accommodating. She was harsh, hurried, and appeared very annoyed that I was there. After that introduction, the people got much better. The rest of the staff were friendly and nice. Dr Thyssen is always pleasant and I do have faith in his procedures.
Great, everyone very polite and helpful.
Professional,prompt and corrected my mistake without blame awesome
This is one of the best run doctor's offices I've had the pleasure of visiting. The staff is friendly + knowledgeable, and it's clear that they have processes they're following, which creates an environment where you know exactly what to expect and how much it's going to cost. On top of that, Dr. Weinstock is top notch and has an excellent bedside manner. I've been struggling with GI symptoms and a lot of other crazy symptoms for a few years, and he listened carefully to everything I shared (in addition to collecting much of the information up front in a thorough intake questionnaire) and help me determine that I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). After doing a lot of research about MCAS, it's clear to me that I'm working with one of the best doctor's in the country and am insanely lucky that I found him this early into my journey. His protocol has helped me get a significant amount of symptom relief, and I'm optimistic that by digging into the root causes with another local STL doctor (Dr. Christian Wessling), I'll be on the road to healing. One other thing I love about this office is that you can get support between appointments using their patient portal, and their responses are thoughtful and prompt. All doctor's offices should take a lesson from this one on how to run their operations while providing excellent patient support! 👏👏👏
In up fixed out! Efficient. The staff is kind and they offer information and answer all questions.