Reflux Disease is a common condition that goes by many names: GERD, acid reflux, heartburn or indigestion. More than one in five people in the U.S. experience symptoms, including: heartburn, difficulty or pain with swallowing, chronic cough, asthma, morning hoarseness or sore throat, and voice changes.
We all have a natural, two-way valve between our stomach and esophagus. This keeps powerful stomach acid and digestive enzymes down in the stomach where they belong. In people with Reflux Disease, this valve has been stretched out or weakened and is no longer strong enough to do its job. This allows the powerful substances that help digest food and kill germs move out of the stomach and into your esophagus. A little of this is normal or natural – the occasional belch or vomit when you are ill. Reflux Disease occurs when it happens too often, for too long, and at inappropriate times. It can cause some pretty bothersome symptoms and can also cause lasting damage to the esophagus.
- Lifestyle modification: Better at preventing reflux than treating it, these measures can help limit symptoms and make treatments more effective:
- Sleep on a wedge pillow to elevate your whole head and torso at night
- Eliminate or limit alcohol intake, especially close to bedtime
- Eliminate or limit caffeine intake, especially close to bedtime
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Limit meal size and avoid eating late in the evening
- Acid-Reducing medication: Most effective at treating the symptom of heartburn, not effective in treating regurgitation, asthma, or in preventing esophageal cancer.
- LINX procedure: A minimally invasive technique wherein a ring of calibrated magnets are placed around the lower esophagus, restoring the body’s reflux valve to its normal strength.
LINX for a better life
Dr. Campbell is the first surgeon in Manitowoc County to offer this outpatient procedure. Learn how this small magnetic ring can dramatically improve acid reflux.
Pattie Wellner, RN
Chronic reflux is a life-altering, dangerous, and expensive disease. Many people suffer for years without knowing that there are multiple treatment options available. Managing chronic reflux is truly becoming a “team sport” involving healthcare providers from different disciplines. At HFM, we have created a comprehensive reflux management program to navigate your care and give you the best reflux outcome possible by providing the right care, by the right doctors, at the right time.
Knowing who to see can get confusing or overwhelming, often causing patients to “fall through the cracks” and settling for less than the best reflux care. That’s why we have a Reflux Navigator to help guide you to the right provider at the right time. Depending on severity, your “reflux team” may involve your primary care doctor, a gastroenterologist, a reflux surgeon, and sometimes your ENT or pulmonary doctor.
If you’re suffering from chronic reflux disease, call 920-320-GERD to learn how the Reflux Program can work for you.
Do you have chronic acid reflux?
Chronic acid reflux can be evaluated through medical tests such as an upper endoscopy, esophageal PH monitoring or an esophageal manometry.