Our Gastroenterology Blog
Are mealtimes leaving you with chest burning and discomfort?
Have you started to notice that some of your favorite foods are leaving you with a burning, gnawing in your chest? Have mealtimes become frustrating because it seems that everything seems to set off a sore throat, acidity in your mouth, food regurgitation or burning in the throat and chest? If so, then you might have heartburn (acid reflux). Don’t worry; our Lawrenceville, GA, gastroenterologist, Dr. Indran Indrakrishnan, will provide you with the answers you need.
What is heartburn?
Every time you eat your stomach produces acid, which helps break down food as it goes through the digestive tract. The acid should remain in the stomach; however, if you suffer from heartburn, the stomach acid will go back up the esophagus where it will burn and irritate the throat. If left untreated, this can lead to serious damage to the esophagus.
What triggers heartburn symptoms?
There are certain habits and foods that can make your heartburn symptoms flare-up. Habits such as when you eat, how much you eat, what time you eat and when you exercise can all trigger acid reflux.
Common triggers include:
- Eating large meals (particularly before bed)
- Consuming foods that are greasy, fatty or spicy
- Consuming alcohol and caffeinated beverages
- Exercising right after eating
- Taking certain medications (e.g. blood pressure medications)
It’s a good idea to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day and to avoid eating about two hours before bedtime. You should also wait about two hours after eating before exercising.
Keep a journal of foods and drinks that trigger your heartburn so that you can avoid them whenever possible. If certain medications are causing acid reflux to flare-up then it’s a good idea to talk to our Lawrenceville GI doctor about your options.
How is heartburn treated?
If you are dealing with mild-to-moderate heartburn you may be able to alter your lifestyle and take over-the-counter heartburn medications to relieve your symptoms. Of course, those dealing with more severe symptoms may require prescription medications to reduce or even prevent the production of stomach acid to help the esophagus heal from damage.
If you suspect that you are dealing with acid reflux then it’s time you called Gwinnett Digestive Clinic in Lawrenceville, GA, to schedule an evaluation. Let’s figure out what’s causing your symptoms and help you manage these issues so that you can find the joy in mealtimes again.
Unattended acid reflux and heartburn can lead to esophageal cancer. In fact, GERD ( Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease ) is the number one cause of esophageal cancer. Dr. Indrakrishnan's GDC Endoscopy center does a new state-of-the-art brush cytology technique on patients with GERD to look for pre-cancer cells in the lining of the esophagus. If detected, this can be managed successfully without any surgery or chemotherapy. Please call the office for details.
What is Acid Reflux? Belching, chest pain, and an acidic taste in your mouth are all signs of acid reflux, a very common disorder of the digestive system which affects millions of people worldwide. If you've been dealing with these symptoms for a long time, you might think it's just an unfortunate part of life. But Dr. Indran Indrakrishnan, your gastroenterologist in Lawrenceville, GA, has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating acid reflux. Here you'll learn more about this condition and how it's treated at Gwinnett Digestive Clinic.
What is acid reflux?
The stomach keeps its contents in place thanks to a valve at its opening. However, if this valve malfunctions and stops closing or opening properly, stomach acid can rise into the esophagus, producing an uncomfortable burning in your chest and throat. This is a sensation that most people have experienced from time to time, but if it happens to you more than twice a week, your Lawrenceville gastroenterologist may diagnose you with acid reflux disease, also known as GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease).
What causes acid reflux?
There are many reasons why acid reflux happens. An abnormality with the muscles around the stomach, called a hiatal hernia, is a very common cause. Diet is another major contributor; foods and drinks that are acidic, spicy, or full of fat can affect the way your digestive system functions. Lying down after eating can also trigger reflux. Carrying excess weight in your abdominal area, whether it's from pregnancy or obesity, can be a factor as well. If you take certain medications, such as pain relievers like aspirin or muscle relaxers, reflux can be a side effect.
What are the complications acid reflux?
Difficulty in swallowing due to scar tissue from acid burning, chronic cough, asthma, anemia, and cáncer of throat & Esophagus.
How is acid reflux diagnosed & managed?
Dr. Indrakrishnan, if indicated, will perform a painless video endoscopy to assess the reflux and do special brushings to look for pre –cancerous lesions. He uses the state-of the-art technology -WATS 3D Biopsy Brush – to diagnose Early esophageal Cancers and pre canceruos lesions such as dysplasia and Barrett’s Esophagus. If you're diagnosed with acid reflux at Gwinnett Digestive Clinic in Lawrenceville, Dr. Indrakrishnan typically suggests making necessary lifestyle changes, such as diet, sleeping position or meal schedule, to lessen its effects. You may also find that medications to neutralize acid or reduce its production in the stomach may bring relief. If you think you might have acid reflux or complications, don't wait any longer to make an appointment with Dr. Indrakrishnan at Gwinnett Digestive Clinic in Lawrenceville, GA. We look forward to hearing from you!
Have a question for our Lawrenceville, GA gastroenterologist? We are here to answer some of your most popular questions.
The GI tract can be rather confusing sometimes. You may be dealing with stomach cramps or have trouble with heartburn. If so, you may end up coming up with a laundry list of questions for our GI doctor. Well, now we are here to provide you with some of the answers you’ve been looking for.
Q. Why should I see a gastroenterologist?
A. If you’ve talked to your family physician about some of the gastrointestinal issues you’ve been experiencing (e.g. heartburn; diarrhea; abdominal pain), then chances are good that your doctor will refer you to a gastroenterologist. You may also want to visit us if you have a family history of colon cancer or if you are over the age of 50 (to start getting routine colon cancer screenings).
Q. What problems can a gastroenterologist treat?
A. As you probably already know, a gastroenterologist is a medical professional who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions of the gastrointestinal system as well as digestive organs. This includes everything from the esophagus and stomach to the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Q. Should I get a colonoscopy from my Lawrenceville, GA gastroenterologist?
A. Any man or woman over the age of 50 should start getting routine colonoscopies. If results come back normal, then you may not need to come in for another colonoscopy for another 10 years. Of course, if you have a family history of colon cancer, if you are African American or you have other risk factors, then we may determine that you should come in more regularly and earlier for screenings.
Q. What are some ways to treat heartburn?
A. While some people may be able to remedy their heartburn by taking an over-the-counter medication, if these medications aren’t doing the trick then it’s time you turned to us for a prescription medication that could help reduce flare-ups. Of course, avoiding acidic or spicy foods and eating smaller portions can also help reduce your heartburn symptoms.
Q. How can I prevent colon cancer?
A. There are many easy lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health and reduce your chances of colon cancer including limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Everyone, no matter their risk level, should be screened for colon cancer.
If you have any other questions that we didn’t address here, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and your Lawrenceville, GA gastroenterologist a call. If you need to sit down and talk to us, we would be happy to schedule a consultation for you.
Welcome to the Blog of Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC
Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about your health and our practice.
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