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Acid Reflux

Prima Medicine -  - Internal Medicine

Prima Medicine

Internal Medicine & Family Medicine located in Fairfax, VA, South Riding, VA & Merrifield, VA

If the burning throat and bad breath of acid reflux are interfering with your life, treatments are available at Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia. Chethana Rao, MD, and her experienced medical team offer on-site diagnostics and treatments to help you manage chronic acid reflux issues. Whether you need fast-acting medications or long-term treatment, Dr. Rao and the Prima Medicine staff tailor services to meet your needs. Find out more about ending the discomfort of acid reflux by calling the office nearest you or by booking an appointment online today.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition that causes the acids of your stomach to flow back into your esophagus, the tube that travels from your throat down into your stomach. As a result, you can experience a sour taste in your mouth as well as a burning sensation at the back of your throat or in your chest.

Other common side effects of acid reflux include:

  • Wheezing
  • Dry cough
  • Vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Throat pain
  • Persistent nausea

You can also experience dental issues due to the acid’s effect on your teeth. Long-term exposure to stomach acids can breakdown your teeth, resulting in tooth decay and loss.

For some, acid reflux occurs occasionally, especially after overeating and/or eating spicy foods. In others, acid reflux can occur daily, interfering with your quality of life.

Why would I need medical treatment for acid reflux?

If not properly treated, acid reflux can turn into a more serious condition known as gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).

Acid reflux can also increase your risk of long-term health complications affecting your esophagus, such as:

  • Ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring

These conditions make it difficult to swallow and result in chronic pain and discomfort. Esophageal cancer can be life-threatening.

What causes acid reflux?

This type of condition develops when the muscle that controls the opening and closing of the lower esophagus weakens or relaxes abnormally. This allows the backflow of stomach acids into the esophagus.

Reasons for muscle dysfunction or weakness include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hiatal hernia

Use of certain medications like antihistamines and sedatives can also cause this muscle to relax and increase your risk of persistent acid reflux.

What treatments are available for acid reflux?

Dr. Rao often recommends lifestyle changes as the initial treatment for acid reflux. These changes include:

  • Weight loss
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding spicy foods

You can also use over-the-counter or prescription acid-reducing medications before eating.

If these treatments aren’t enough to address the frequency or severity of your acid reflux, Dr. Rao could refer you for a surgical consultation to repair the dysfunction in your esophageal muscle.

Don’t dismiss the complications of acid reflux. Learn more about treatments by calling the office nearest you or by booking an appointment online today.