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Acid Reflux Specialist

Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC

Board Certified Gastroenterologists located in Hattiesburg, MS

You’re not alone if you frequently experience a burning sensation in your chest. More than 60 million Americans have acid reflux symptoms at least once a month. At Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC, which has two locations in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the team of board-certified gastroenterologists specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux. To get relief from your symptoms, call or use the online booking tool.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux occurs when the acidic contents of your stomach regurgitates up into your esophagus. Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux. However, your acid reflux may also cause:

  • Bitter taste in the back of your throat
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Chest pain

Your symptoms may last hours and worsen after eating. 

Though acid reflux is common, if you experience these symptoms more than twice a week, you may have a more chronic condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which may increase your risk of developing more serious health complications such as esophageal strictures or Barrett’s esophagus. 

What causes acid reflux?

As noted, acid reflux occurs when the acidic contents of your stomach reflux up into your esophagus, causing the burning sensation that may damage the delicate tissue. The refluxing of stomach acid occurs due to problems related to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Your LES is a group of muscles at the bottom of your esophagus. When you swallow food, your LES relaxes to allow food to pass into your stomach and then quickly closes. 

If your LES is weak or relaxes when it shouldn’t, the contents of your stomach regurgitate up into your esophagus. 

The changes in the function of your LES may occur if there’s too much pressure on the muscle (e.g., from being overweight, obese, or pregnant), use of certain medications, or if you’re a smoker. 

What happens during an acid reflux consultation?

When you come in to see the experts at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC for an acid reflux consultation, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation. The goal is to determine the severity of your acid reflux, so you get the best treatment.

During the evaluation, your provider reviews your symptoms, medical and family history, and performs a physical exam. 

Though a comprehensive history and physical can diagnose acid reflux, your Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC provider may recommend diagnostic testing, such as an endoscopy or capsule endoscopy, to assess the health of your esophagus. 

Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC also offers Bravo™ pH monitoring, which collects pH data for 48 hours, allowing your provider to track your reflux symptoms and develop the most effective treatment plan.   

How is acid reflux treated?

Your specialist at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC develops a personalized treatment plan for your acid reflux based on the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Diet modification
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Non-surgical weight loss
  • Medication to reduce stomach acid production
  • Medication to speed-up your digestive system

Your provider schedules regular follow-up appointments to monitor your symptoms and the effectiveness of your treatment plan. 

If your acid reflux has damaged your esophagus and caused esophageal stricture (narrowing of the esophagus), your gastroenterologist may recommend an esophageal dilation. During the procedure, your specialist performs an endoscopy and uses a special dilation instrument to expand your esophagus. 

To get help for acid reflux, contact Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC by phone or online today.