When should I see a provider:
- Your symptoms are severe or last a long time
- You cannot seem to control your symptoms
- You have had symptoms for many years
You should also see a doctor or nurse right away if you:
- Have trouble swallowing, or feel as though food gets “stuck” on the way down
- Lose weight when you are not trying to
- Have chest pain
- Choke when you eat
- Vomit blood or have bowel movements that are red, black, or look like tar
Acid reflux is when the acid that is normally in your stomach backs up into the esophagus which is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Another term for acid reflux is “gastroesophageal reflux disease,” or GERD.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
- Burning in the chest, known as heartburn
- Burning in the throat or an acid taste in the throat
- Stomach or chest pain
- Trouble swallowing
- Having a raspy voice or a sore throat
- Unexplained cough
Things you can do on your own to improve symptoms:
- Lose weight (if you are overweight)
- Raise the head of your bed by 6 to 8 inches (for example, by putting blocks of wood or rubber under 2 legs of the bed or a Styrofoam wedge under the mattress)
- Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse (examples include coffee, chocolate, alcohol, peppermint, and fatty foods)
- Cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink
- Stop smoking, if you smoke
- Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal
** nonprescription medicines: antacids, surface acting agents, histamine blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (speak to your provider/pharmacist)
If a child or teenager has acid reflux: take him or her to see a doctor or nurse. Do not give your child medicines to treat acid reflux without talking to a provider or nurse.
By David Black, PA-C
Family Practice Provider
Adair County Health SystemThe information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider. Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement. Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.