Occasional heartburn or indigestion is perfectly normal and nothing to be overly concerned about. For many, however, these conditions interfere with normal daily routines. At Todd B. Linden MD FACP in Soho, Manhattan, Dr. Lindon is skilled in finding the cause of your acid reflux and offering effective solutions. When you’re ready to move forward with less heartburn and digestive distress, schedule an appointment with Dr. Linden online or call his New York City office today.
Acid reflux occurs when the acid produced in your stomach enters your esophagus and creates symptoms.
If you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, you may have a condition known as acid reflux disease, which is also referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Your esophagus is normally protected from stomach acid by a ring of muscle that sits at the base of your esophagus and acts as a valve.
This ring of muscle is called your lower esophageal sphincter, and it usually closes the instant food passes through en route to your stomach.
If your lower esophageal sphincter opens too often or isn’t able to close all the way, acid can make its way up into your esophagus, where it will create tissue damage.
One of the most common causes of acid reflux is a hiatal hernia. This can happen if the upper portion of your stomach and your lower esophageal sphincter displace your diaphragm, the muscle that normally separates your chest from your stomach.
Researchers have identified several risk factors for acid reflux, including:
If you experience frequent heartburn, taking a close look at your lifestyle can help you identify areas where positive change could improve your condition.
Everyone has a unique experience with acid reflux. Some of the ways the condition is described are sensations of:
Some men and women also report black or bloody stools.
There are steps you can take to reduce the frequency of acid reflux. The first step involves taking an honest assessment of your overall health habits and looking for areas where improvements can be made.
Try to eat fewer small meals each day instead of just a couple of large meals. This gives your body the time it needs to digest your food and helps prevent acid from backing up into your esophagus.
Finish your last meal or snack of the day a few hours before bedtime. You might also try lifting the head of your bed 4-6 inches, to keep your upper body at a slight angle during the night.
Take steps to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Avoid foods and beverages known to increase the risk of acid reflux.
If these efforts don’t provide relief, call Dr. Linden today to book a diagnostic exam at his New York City office. Online scheduling is also available and allows you to set up your visit any time.