Heartburn 101.

What’s your favorite food? Is it a thick, juicy burger topped with caramelized onions and Swiss cheese? Or is it sensational sweet and sour Asian cuisine, immersed in delicious noodles and tangy sauce that you slurp happily? Could it possibly be a doughy crust, topped with a generous helping of marinara and cheesy, gooey goodness? Whatever dish your heart may hold dear, it may hold onto it much longer than you’d like a few hours later.

Heartburn feels extremely uncomfortable. You can’t enjoy your food fully because you know you’re going to pay for it later. And if the heartburn is frequent, it could be acid reflux disease, also known as GERD. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) valve doesn’t close completely at the stomach opening, causing stomach acid to repeatedly rise into the esophagus. And when that occurs repeatedly, acid reflux becomes the problem.

Food isn’t the only thing that causes heartburn. There are a variety of factors that both contribute to and exacerbate heartburn and the weakening of the LES: coffee, cigarettes, acidic foods, fried or fatty foods, medical conditions like diabetes or asthma, alcohol and being overweight.

Fortunately, if you suffer from the occasional heartburn, there are simple solutions that if put into practice, can ease your discomfort. Avoiding frequent consumption of greasy foods, or any of the items mentioned would be a good start. Additionally, consuming smaller and more frequent meals helps alleviate the pain associated with heartburn. It’s also good to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water since this assists with digestion. Overall, maintaining a balanced diet is your first step to finding relief.

However, if you find that after putting the previous tips into action, there isn’t a significant difference in your discomfort level, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor. Barrets or BE, is when GERD is so severe, it permanently changes the esophageal lining due to the frequency of acid reflux. If left untreated, it could potentially lead to cancer.

At Georgia SurgiCare, we provide acid reflux treatment options that could help. We offer No Scar reflux treatments, Scar-Less treatments and BE surgeries. We also offer the TIF Procedure, which can be performed safely and with relatively minimal patient downtime. TIF is completely incisionless because the EsophyX device is introduced into the body through the mouth, rather than through an abdominal incision. The advantages of incisionless surgery over conventional laparoscopic or open GERD surgery include a shorter hospital stay, reduced discomfort, shortened recovery and no visible scars. Request an appointment today, and see how Georgia SurgiCare can leave your heart content with the food, and not feeling the burn.

Sources:
Heartburn 101
What Not to Eat to Avoid Heartburn