Treating Heartburn in Naples and Ft. Myers

If you struggle with gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD), then you may suffer from the severe discomfort and lingering pain of heartburn and acid reflux on a daily basis. Chronic heartburn and reflux develop as a result of a damaged lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that allows digestive juices like stomach acid to escape into the esophagus, causing severe irritation and inflammation to the esophageal lining.

The only successful treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease is reflux surgery, which your general surgeon in Ft. Myers can discuss with you further. However, while you are awaiting surgery there are a number of lifestyle habits that can reduce the frequency and severity of your heartburn and reflux symptoms.

Here are some of the leading treatment methods to reduce heartburn and acid reflux:

  • Change of lifestyle:Making significant changes to your diet, learning new ways to manage stress, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol consumption can all reduce heartburn.
  • Diet:There are certain foods that will cause you to experience heartburn more severely than others. These foods are referred to as your “triggers” and should be avoided.
  • Over-the-counter drugs:There are many different types of over-the-counter medications available for heartburn, and not all of them work. Talk with your reflux surgeon before taking any medications unsupervised.
  • Taking antacids:These are taken as a reactionary measure after the heartburn has set in. They neutralize the acid in the esophagus and stomach, thus doing away with the heartburn instantly. Antacids will not prevent heartburn from occurring.
  • Proton pump inhibitors:These are prescription drugs that reduce acid production in the stomach and intestines. Chances of the acid moving through the esophagus are therefore reduced. Your reflux surgeon can explain the benefits and risks associated with PPIs in more detail.
  • Promotility agents:This form of medication speeds up the digestion process, which ensures that acid doesn’t stay in the stomach for too long. This reduces the probability of having too much acid in the esophagus.
  • Fundoplication:This is a term used to refer to the surgical construction of a new valve within the stomach. After the surgery, acid in the stomach is prevented from finding its way to the esophagus. Dr. Bass offers minimally invasive reflux surgery in Ft. Myers.

You don’t need to struggle with your heartburn on your own. Talk with Dr. Bass about the treatment options available and find out what is right for you.