If you have a painful throat and a raspy voice, you may be preparing for a cold or the flu. The symptoms you have been experiencing may not be caused by a virus but by a valve—the lower esophageal sphincter—if you have experienced them for some time. Stomach acid and food may leak back up into the esophagus if this muscle fails to shut correctly, controlling the route between the esophagus and stomach. If you suffer from acid reflux, you may find yourself with a painful throat and a raspy voice. Seeing a gastroenterologist such as Dr. Bharat Pothuri should be among your priorities.
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the medical term for acid reflux that causes long-term problems. Heartburn is the most prevalent symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The following are acid reflux management tips:
Use over-the-counter medications
You can take advantage of the following options:
- The stomach acid-neutralizing antacids Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums, are some antacids that may give immediate relief.
You cannot heal an irritated esophagus injured by stomach acid alone with antacids. In some instances, adverse effects such as diarrhea or renal issues might occur due to using certain antacids excessively.
- Reducing the amount of acid produced
For example, nizatidine (Zofran) is an H-2-receptor blocker, as are the following medications: cimetidine (Tagamet HB) and famotidine (Axid AR). In comparison to antacids, H-2-receptor blockers take longer to take effect, but they give longer-lasting comfort by reducing stomach acid production for up to 12 hours. Prescriptions are required for more potent versions.
- Acid-blocking drugs and esophageal healing agents
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are more potent acid blockers than H-2-receptor blockers, and they enable time for injured esophageal tissue to repair. The most often prescribed proton pump inhibitors are omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid 24 HR) (Prilosec OTC, Zegerid OTC).
Cut down your weight
Obesity is among the leading causes of GERD. As a result of the increased pressure on your abdomen caused by excess stomach fat, digestive fluids may leak into your esophagus. If you are obese, you should lose weight, and if you are not, you should avoid gaining weight.
Do not sleep after a meal
Be sure to give yourself at least three hours after a meal before you go to sleep. In most cases, gravity is a factor in preventing acid reflux from occurring. To avoid the effects of gravity, you may have a meal and then go to sleep. An increase in esophageal reflux occurs because of this change in acid pressure.
Limit your alcohol consumption
Acid reflux and heartburn may be made worse by drinking alcohol. Several types of research have shown a connection between more significant acid reflux symptoms and increased alcohol use. Alcohol exacerbates symptoms by raising stomach acid, loosening the lower esophageal sphincter, and reducing the esophageal capacity to remove the acid. A new study is required, although studies from the past have shown that consuming wine or beer may cause an increase in reflux symptoms compared to drinking water.
Severe discomfort or trouble swallowing should prompt a trip to the doctor to rule out anything else. Even if you make lifestyle modifications, you may still need medication to treat reflux.