ACID REFLUX TREATMENTS
Several tests can be performed to diagnose acid reflux disease. An Upper Endoscopy is a test performed on an outpatient basis which allows a look inside your stomach and esophagus. The Esophageal pH test can be performed to test the severity of acid reflux and potential damage to the esophagus.
The treatments for acid reflux can include dietary management, over-the-counter or prescription medications, or even surgery. Patients may need to abstain or limit items that trigger their acid reflux. Common foods that antagonize acid reflux attacks are fatty, greasy or spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol, peppermint, citrus fruits, caffeinated beverage and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower. Since acid reflux is often worse at night, patients may also be advised to eat smaller meals well before bedtime. Additionally, good posture after meal consumption can decrease the possibility of acid and stomach content regurgitating into the esophagus.
Over the counter medicines such as antacids work to neutralize stomach and raise the stomach’s pH. Antacids are routinely effective, but relief is short-lived because they are rapidly emptied from the stomach before food is adequately digested, thus causing symptoms to return. For longer acting relief doctor prescribed medications can help via different methods of acid suppression such as Histamine-2 Blockers, Proton Pump Inhibitors, or Pro-motility drugs.
Histamine-2 blockers relieve heart burn but do not treat damage to the esophagus if present. Histamine-2 blockers control the production of stomach acid; some side effects noted include headache, abdominal, pain, gas, and diarrhea. Examples of histamine-2 blockers include Axid®, Pepcid®, and Zantac®.; Proton pump inhibitors block acid production for longer periods than Histamine-2 blockers and are therefore prescribed for more severe cases of acid reflux. Examples of proton pump inhibitors include Prevacid®, Prilosec®, and Fildena®.; Pro-motility dugs strengthen the esophageal sphincter and promote quicker emptying of the stomach to reduce the presence of acid to be refluxed into the esophagus.