What Is Heartburn?
The term “heartburn” is often used to describe a variety of digestive problems, but it is actually a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease — or GERD. Individuals who have this condition experience a harsh burning sensation in the area between the ribs or just below the neck. If you’ve experienced heartburn, our extensively trained physician can help you determine if a simple over-the-counter remedy can help you correct this issue, or if surgery may be warranted. We emphasize conservative approaches foremost, and we want to help you enjoy a more comfortable and healthier life.
What Are the Causes of Heartburn?
GERD and heartburn are indicators of a high amount of acidity in the stomach. The reason that most people experience heartburn is because of poor choice in diet and obesity. Also, some people eat certain trigger foods that cause the stomach to “reflux,” shooting back a liquid solution of acid that is extremely irritating and can be painful. Examples of trigger foods include: spicy foods, chocolate, and excessive amounts of coffee.
What Are the Symptoms of Heartburn?
Heartburn feels a bit like what it sounds like, a burning sensation or fiery pain that radiates through the chest and into the throat. GERD occurs when stomach acids reflux or “back up” from the stomach into the esophagus. Stomach acid is very corrosive, so it can cause discomfort and eventually ulcers and other issues if it backs into the esophagus regularly.
What Are the Best Home Remedies for Heartburn?
The immediate and easiest cure for heartburn is a mild dosage of anti-acid (antacid). Whether it is a syrup or in tablets form, the anti-acid is supposed to neutralize the intense effect of heartburn. This results in immediate relief from all the pain and itching in the throat. In addition, the patient does not suffer from the same phenomenon throughout the rest of the day, or during his/her sleep.
What Heartburn Treatments Are Available if Home Remedies Don’t Work?
Individuals who do not respond well to lifestyle changes or medications or those who continually require medications to control their heartburn symptoms may want to consider a surgical procedure. Surgery is very effective in treating GERD.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication
Our extensively trained surgeon, Dr. Hossein Bagshahi, uses the state-of-the-art transoral incisionless fundoplication technique to tighten the valve opening of the stomach to limit acid reflux. This method involves sending instruments through the mouth and esophagus, so no incisions are needed. As a result, patients can often recover faster and do not have to deal with any unsightly scars.
Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication
Bagshahi Bariatric and General Surgery offers access to advanced Nissen fundoplication and other minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures for individuals who suffer from GERD. Our laparoscopic approach to surgery means a smaller incision than open surgery, and robotic-assisted surgery is a more precise surgical technique. Laparoscopy reduces postoperative pain, offers a shortened hospital stay and earlier return to work and activity, and brings improved cosmetic results. Dr. Bagshahi can help you determine if laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery is right for you.
Are There Any Diet Tips to Avoid Heartburn?
Heartburn and GERD are not life threatening. Doctors suggest a mix of exercise and low cholesterol diet to people who suffer from this issue. It is commonly observed that people who maintain a healthy lifestyle and focus on food which consists of low acid do not experience heartburn at all. We advise patients to eat lots of fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and other minimally or unprocessed foods to limit heartburn symptoms.
If you would like to learn more about heartburn treatment, or if you believe you may have GERD, contact our practice to schedule a consultation with our extensively trained doctor.