Heartburn plagues you almost daily. The regurgitation, the burning in your esophagus and more need attention. If this describes your situation, see your board-certified gastroenterologists at Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease in Anchorage. Dr. Daryl McClendon, Dr. Jeffrey Molloy and Dr. Austin Nelson diagnose and treat heartburn to preserve your GI health and your well-being.
What is heartburn?
When stomach contents, including foods and acids, travel in reverse into the esophagus, your gastroenterologists at Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease in Anchorage say you have heartburn or acid reflux. Characterized by pain in the chest and problems with swallowing, heartburn is also called GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) when its frequency increases.
Foods, unhealthy body weight, pregnancy and excessive alcohol consumption all contribute to acid reflux. Eating too much and too close to bedtime, stress, tight clothes and smoking increase the severity and number of episodes you have, too.
Unfortunately, your heartburn is more than uncomfortable. It can cause dangerous ulcerations in the esophagus which may lead to cancer. Chronic heartburn requires investigation by your gastroenterologist who will review your medical history and symptoms. Also, he may do an EGD or Upper GI Endoscopy which passes a lighted tube down the esophagus to look for ulcerations and areas which may require biopsy.
To manage symptoms, your doctor will formulate a care plan based on your test results and other factors. Treatment recommendations may include:
- Weight loss
- Sleeping on your side or with the head of your bed elevated
- Not eating close to bedtime
- Eating smaller and more frequent meals
- Medications such as antacids (to neutralize stomach acid), Zantac or Prilosec (to limit acid production)
- Wearing clothing which is loose-fitting at the waist
- Limiting alcohol
- Quitting all tobacco
Also, your doctor will encourage you to track your symptoms, including when they start, how long they last and what brings relief.
Learn more about heartburn
Don't ignore your painful GI symptoms. Take control of them, and feel better. For expert help, call Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease. Drs. McClendon, Molloy and Nelson are known for their high-quality and compassionate care. We have two offices to serve you: Anchorage and Eagle River. For a convenient appointment time, phone (907) 569-1333.