How Is Acid Reflux Disease Detected and Managed?


A large number of people in the country are living with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also referred to as chronic acid reflux disease. GERD develops when the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle between the esophagus and stomach) does not function correctly, enabling stomach acid to push back up into the esophageal area. Individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease could notice uncomfortable effects, such as heartburn, chest pain, frequent belching, trouble swallowing, a chronic dry cough, and a bitter taste in the mouth.

If you experience heartburn or other acid reflux symptoms more often than twice a week, you could possibly have acid reflux disease. It is critical not to ignore any indications of GERD, as chronic acid reflux may injure the esophagus over time. This can increase the risk of more serious issues, like hiatal hernia or Barrett's esophagus. The gastrointestinal (GI) physicians at Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, OK are skilled at diagnosing GERD and can provide the appropriate treatment option to help you control your condition.

GERD diagnostic procedures

Over the course of your visit at Adult Gastroenterology Associates, your GI doctor will listen to your symptoms and review your health history. Your GI physician may order one or more of the following procedures to render a diagnosis.

  • Ambulatory pH monitoring: A probe will be inserted into your esophagus and will remain in place for about a day. Over the next 24 hours, the will probe transmit data to a small apparatus that measures the amount of stomach acid in your esophageal area.
  • Upper endoscopy: A thin tube containing a camera is gently placed into your throat to screen for tissue irritation. A biopsy could also be performed to diagnose Barrett’s syndrome.
  • Barium swallow (esophagram): With this test, you will swallow a white, chalky liquid barium. Radiographs will be captured to help your gastroenterologist view the upper part of your GI tract and detect any esophageal concerns, such as swallowing difficulties.
  • Esophageal motility test: A flexible tube is placed through your nose and into your esophagus to check the function of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Treatment for acid reflux disease

The initial phase of relieving GERD typically centers on altering nutritional and lifestyle habits. You might find some respite by avoiding the following foods and drinks, which tend to prompt heartburn or other symptoms:

  • Coffee
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods
  • Greasy foods
  • Processed foods
  • Tomato-containing products
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate

Furthermore, it is essential to sustain a healthy weight, avoid overeating, stop the use of tobacco products, and allow food to fully settle before lying flat. Your GI specialist might suggest trying over-the-counter medications, like antacids or acid reducers. In cases where chronic acid reflux symptoms are present, prescription medications may be advised. These could include prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 antagonists, which limit stomach acid production and help prevent the backflow of acid into the esophagus.

For many people, taking medications and making lifestyle changes is sufficient to effectively control acid reflux disease. In some situations, however, surgery may be the most appropriate treatment. At Adult Gastroenterology Associates, our highly trained GI specialists partner with individuals to curate the most favorable approach for their particular case.

Get acid reflux disease treatment in Tulsa, OK

Infrequent cases of acid reflux may not be a reason for concern for many individuals. However, if you often experience a burning sensation in your chest or frequent acid indigestion, it can signify a persistent gastrointestinal issue. A seasoned GI physician can provide a diagnosis and treatment options for GERD and acid reflux symptoms. Contact Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, OK today to arrange a visit with one of our experienced GI doctors.