Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC
Indran B. Indrakrishnan , MD
Gastroenterology located in Lawrenceville, GA
Everyone experiences heartburn or indigestion from time to time, but chronic problems with acid reflux can cause serious health and quality-of-life issues. At Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC in Lawrenceville, Georgia, gastroenterologist Indran Indrakrishnan, MD, provides expert diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux disease. For more information, call or request an appointment using the online booking tool.
Acid Reflux Q & A
What is acid reflux?
If the acids in your stomach travel backwards into your esophagus, this is what’s known as acid reflux. When you swallow, the food travels down your esophagus and into your stomach. Your sphincter on the lower end of your esophagus then closes to prevent the contents of your stomach from making a return trip.
Most people experience a bout of acid reflux occasionally. Sometimes after they eat certain foods, their body can create more stomach acids, which may get back up through their sphincter. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, whether it’s mild or severe, you’re likely dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which means your sphincter is compromised in some way.
If GERD is at the heart of your problems, the constant backwash of stomach acids can irritate your throat, which can lead to far larger problems, such as:
- Abdominal pain ulcers
- Difficulty swallowing
- Esophageal spasms
In some cases, GERD can also put you at a greater risk of developing esophageal cancer.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
Acid reflux makes itself known in a variety of ways, including:
- Burning in your throat
- Dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing
- Constant hiccups
- Bloody or extremely dark stools
- Bloody vomiting
- Noticeable weight loss
- Dry cough
- Perpetually sore throat
These symptoms largely depend on the degree to which your lower esophageal sphincter functions, or malfunctions.
How is acid reflux diagnosed and treated?
After Dr. Indrakrishnan sits down with you to review your medical history, your nutritional habits, and your symptoms. He typically recommends an endoscopy, which allows him to take a close at your upper gastrointestinal tract, including your esophagus.
Once he’s had a look inside, Dr. Indrakrishnan can formulate a treatment plan that best suits your situation, which may include one or more of the following:
- Prescription medications to reduce acid production
- Antacids to neutralize the acid in your stomach
- Dietary changes
- Lifestyle changes, such as sleeping with your upper body slightly elevated
If your acid reflux resists these treatments, Dr. Indrakrishnan may recommend minor surgical procedures to strengthen the sphincter in your esophagus.
If you want relief from acid reflux, call Gwinnett Digestive Clinic, PC or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.