Acid Reflux in Illinois

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When a person swallows liquids or foods it is passed from our esophagus into the stomach. In between the stomach and esophagus, a muscle is present that's called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). If this sphincter doesn't close completely, it enables a portion of acid from the stomach to flow backward into the esophagus. This can sometimes result in harm to the throat, or cause chronic acid reflux. When this happens, this is what we consider "heartburn", as the acid causes a burning sensation as it travels upward. When you request an appointment at GI Alliance of Illinois, our experienced team of GI providers helps create a treatment plan that alleviates the heartburn and any other symptoms you are having. If you require acid reflux treatment, reach out to our Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Normal, IL, team today.

While acid reflux affects a lot of people in Illinois, there is no single root cause that's been found. However, multiple factors can assist in the weakening of the LES. In doing so, this can then allow stomach acid to flow back into the digestive tract. In general, acid reflux can be caused by foods, medications, some activities done after eating, or pre-existing conditions. There is a multitude of circumstances that influence acid reflux. Some examples of some of the causes can include:

  • Being a smoker
  • Being or becoming pregnant
  • Eating a heavy meal then lying down
  • Fatty or spicy foods
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol (red wine in particular)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Having a weak or compromised LES
  • Citrus fruits, chocolate, tomatoes, garlic, peppermint, raw onions, and black pepper
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Certain medications (such as ibuprofen, aspirin, those for blood pressure, and muscle relaxers)
  • Sparkling beverages
  • Low-fiber diet

For more information on the causes of acid reflux, request a consultation with our team of GI providers at GI Alliance of Illinois.

Acid reflux is commonly referred to as heartburn. Some common acid reflux symptoms may include:

  • Dysphagia
  • Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
  • Pain in the chest
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Gas
  • The feeling of a lump in the throat

When you experience any or all of the above symptoms frequently, it is possible you may have this condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If this is happening to you, request a consultation at GI Alliance of Illinois as soon as possible.

One of the most effective ways to relieve acid reflux is to consult with one of our board-certified GI providers in Illinois. But some additional changes can be made to help lessen the severity and frequency of the symptoms. These include things like:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Being sure to stand or sit upright after eating
  • Not eating for, at least, two hours before laying down to sleep
  • Telling your gastroenterologist about the current medications you are taking
  • Sleeping at an incline with your feet lower than your head
  • Avoidance of "trigger" foods and beverages
  • Eating in moderation and at a slow speed
  • (If overweight), losing extra weight
  • Limiting your intake of caffeine

Request a consultation with a member of our GI team at GI Alliance of Illinois to get the quality treatment that you deserve for your GI health.

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A majority of people throughout Illinois know the burning sensation associated with acid reflux. But GERD is a condition that is more severe. This is because the recurring acid reflux can cause serious damage to your esophagus. When you're experiencing acid reflux more than twice per week, accompanied by swelling in your esophagus, this is known as GERD. When you need high-quality treatment for your condition, request a consultation with one of our GI providers at GI Alliance of Illinois at your earliest convenience.

When persistent acid reflux, or other irritating effects, develop we recommend that you contact one of our GI providers. Our experienced team at GI Alliance of Illinois aims to educate and help individuals with digestive health conditions, such as acid reflux and GERD. If you or a loved one believe you may suffer from GERD or need treatment for acid reflux in Illinois, reach out to our practice to arrange for a consultation.

When do I need to see a doctor for acid reflux?

It is time to visit a GI doctor if you endure acid reflux a minimum of two times a week, as this could be a sign you are suffering from gastrointestinal reflux disease. GERD is a severe form of acid reflux that can cause damage to the upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract without proper care. The team at GI Alliance of Illinois can evaluate your current symptoms and diagnose the condition. Our providers can also help you identify any triggers to minimize the effects of acid reflux.

How long will it take acid reflux to improve after treatment begins?

A blend of medication and dietary changes is typically used to address acid reflux. Once you begin a treatment regimen that works for you, it could take about three weeks or less before you begin to recover and notice improvement.

What foods and beverages should I avoid when I have acid reflux?

Certain foods and beverages can elicit or magnify symptoms of acid reflux. Items you may want to avoid if you have acid reflux are:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Carbonated and caffeinated drinks (such as soda, seltzer, coffee, and tea)
  • Spicy foods
  • Peppermint
  • Greasy foods
  • Foods high in fat
Are there methods to help relieve acid reflux outside of medication?

While OTC and prescription meds can address the symptoms of acid reflux, other options might also help provide relief. These include:

  • Avoid using cigarettes or other tobacco products.
  • Do not go to bed right after eating. It can be helpful to finish eating at least three hours before bedtime so the acid will remain inside the stomach rather than regurgitate into the esophagus.
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals. This can prevent you from becoming overly full, which can increase reflux.
  • If you are a person who is overweight, consider following a weight loss plan. Your doctor can help you create a diet and exercise regimen ideal for your health needs and goals.

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