Acid Reflux Specialist

Central Florida Family Practice

Board Certified Family Practice located in Saint Cloud, FL

Uncomfortable burning in your chest and throat after a heavy meal is just unpleasant and can be an indication of digestive complications. If you experience it chronically, this heartburn may be a symptom of acid reflux. At Central Florida Family Practice located in Saint Cloud, Florida, Dr. Elba Masid offers dietary interventions and medications to help manage your acid reflux. Call the office or book an appointment online to manage acid reflux and its complications.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux occurs when acid from your stomach creeps up into your esophagus, the tube extending from your throat to your stomach. While your stomach can tolerate the corrosive effects of acid, your esophagus is much more sensitive. Frequent and severe acid reflux can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause complications, including a higher risk of esophageal cancer. If you have symptoms of acid reflux more than two times per week, you have GERD.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

You know the burning or discomfort that bubbles up in your chest and throat, particularly after you’ve eaten. This heartburn is a sign of acid reflux. Other symptoms include:

  • Sour or bitter tastes in the back of your throat
  • Bloating
  • Sore throat and hoarseness
  • Persistent hiccups
  • Sensations of food being caught in your throat, known as dysphagia
  • Nausea

Some people with acid reflux experience unexplained weight loss, too.

What causes acid reflux disease?

Acid reflux may occur due to a hiatal hernia, which makes acid move up into your esophagus. Other reasons you develop acid reflux include:

  • Eating large or heavy meals and lying down after a meal
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating too close to bedtime
  • Pregnancy
  • Drinking certain beverages, including alcohol, carbonated drinks, and coffee
  • Smoking

Dr. Masid evaluates your symptoms and runs tests to determine if you do have GERD.

How is acid reflux disease treated?

Certain lifestyle habits trigger acid reflux. Dr. Masid helps you change these habits so you experience fewer symptoms. Actions you can take include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating smaller meals more frequently
  • Avoid eating two to three hours before bed or lying down
  • Wear loose clothing rather than tight belts or pants

She can also help you lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. You may also benefit from avoiding fatty, spicy foods that prompt acid reflux symptoms.

Dr. Masid may also recommend over-the-counter antacids to relieve your symptoms. Other medications may require a prescription, including:

  • Foaming agents, such as Gaviscon, which coat your stomach to prevent reflux
  • Proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec and Nexium, which reduce how much acid your stomach makes
  • H2 blockers, such as Pepcid, which decrease acid production
  • Prokinetics, such as Reglan, which helps your stomach empty faster

For more information about how to combat chronic acid reflux, call Central Florida Family Practice or book an appointment online.