Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

When to See a Doctor About Acid Reflux

Did you know that about 20% of American adults deal with episodes of acid reflux at least twice a week? Occasional instances of acid reflux can be normal, but chronic acid reflux can impact your life in negative ways, from worrying about when and what you eat to the pain and discomfort it can bring.

At Prima Medicine, with locations in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our providers specialize in helping patients with acid reflux eliminate or reduce their symptoms, so they can get back to enjoying life again. Moreover, if left untreated, acid reflux can cause serious health problems.

If you struggle with acid reflux, learn more about the condition and when it’s time to see a doctor about it.   

Acid reflux 101

When acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus — which is the long tube that runs from the back of your mouth to your stomach — you can experience a condition called acid reflux. The condition typically occurs when the valve, or sphincter, that keeps stomach acid from entering the esophagus stops working properly.

Because the soft tissues of your esophagus can’t take the harshness of stomach acid, the most common symptom of acid reflux is burning in the chest or throat. Acid reflux may also cause:

Acid reflux can also cause you to get a metallic or acidic taste in your mouth. 

When and why to see a doctor about acid reflux

If you get acid reflux frequently (twice a week or more), you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Schedule an appointment at Prima medicine if you notice the above symptoms twice a week or more or if you take over-the-counter antacids more than twice a week.

It’s important to see a doctor to get your symptoms under control, because if it isn’t treated, it could cause health problems, such as:

While there are treatments for acid reflux, an accurate diagnosis is key to effective treatment. Seeing a doctor can help ensure that you get the right help for your condition.  

Treating acid reflux

The good news is that several treatment options exist for acid reflux. Your provider at Prima Medicine will likely begin treatment by recommending lifestyle changes to address your symptoms and the underlying problem. They may include:

In addition, using over-the-counter medications or prescription medications, such as H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors, may help prevent acid reflux by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces.

Your provider may also recommend that you avoid lying down for 2-3 hours after eating to decrease the risk of stomach acid backing up into your esophagus.

Sometimes, medications and lifestyle changes aren’t enough to end acid reflux. In this case, your Prima Medicine provider may refer you for a surgical consultation to repair the sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus.

If you’re struggling with frequent acid reflux, don’t ignore it. To get help, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today. We also offer telemedicine appointments.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When Insect Bites and Stings Require Urgent Care

Insect bites or stings may make you itch or cause mild discomfort, but most don’t necessitate medical care. Some bug bites, however, can be dangerous to your health. Here’s how to know when an insect bite or sting requires urgent care.

5 Important Benefits of Chronic Care Management (CCM)

Did you know chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.? If you’re one of the millions of American adults with a chronic health condition, learn how chronic care management (CCM) can help keep you well.

Helping a Loved One With Memory Loss

Some memory loss is normal as you age, and some types are more serious. If you have a loved one with memory loss, you know how difficult it can be. Keep reading to learn how you can help a loved one cope.

Health Benefits of Losing Weight

Carrying extra weight increases your risk of developing many serious health conditions. Fortunately, shedding those extra pounds can improve your overall health. Here’s what you need to know.