Acidity and Reflux

About

One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.

  • Bloody or black stools or bloody vomiting
  • Regurgitation: a sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth
  • Hiccups that don’t let up
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Barium swallow (esophagram) can check for ulcers or a narrowing of the esophagus. You first swallow a solution to help structures show up on an X-ray.
  • Esophageal manometry can check the function and movement of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.
  • pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus.
  • Endoscopy can check for problems in your esophagus or stomach. This test involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera down your throat. First, the doctor will spray the back of your throat with anesthetic and give you a sedative to make you more comfortable.
  • Avoid lying down for three hours after a meal.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid pressure on your abdomen.
  • Raise the head of your bed six to eight inches by placing wooden blocks under your bedposts.