Acid reflux

Life is too short to be keep suffering from acid reflux – take control of yours today with Dr. Zeki’s help.

It’s no surprise that acid reflux is one of the most common medical conditions; often it’s a side effect of the thing we do every day: eat.

At its mildest, acid reflux is a minor discomfort. However, if left unattended, it can lead to some fairly serious, long-term outcomes.

What is acid reflux?

When we swallow food, our stomachs begin to move and produce acid to digest it. Normally, a valve at the top of the stomach prevents the acid from rising up through the oesophagus and into the mouth. However, this does not always happen, and acid escapes the stomach and comes up — this process is called acid reflux.

Some possible reasons for acid reflux include:

 

  • Fatty, acidic, or spicy foods
  • Overeating
  • Coffee or alcohol and fizzy drinks
  • Smoking
  • Laying down or being super active right after eating
  • Some medications
  • Hiatus hernias: the stomach slips up in to the chest

Symptoms of acid reflux

Symptoms often occur after eating, but they can also appear at any point throughout the day, and even late at night.

  • Heartburn: a feeling of pain or burning in the chest
  • A bitter or sour taste in the mouth
  • Continuous coughing, hoarse voice, hiccuping, or burping
  • Dysphagia: a feeling of food stuck in the throat
  • Feelings of nausea and bloating

Dr Zeki’s work with acid reflux

If you find yourself experiencing the symptoms described above twice a week or more, you might have acid reflux disease, or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). In this case, you should consult with a gastroenterologist like Dr. Zeki to prevent the illness from getting worse. 

Dr. Sebastian Zeki is a consultant gastroenterologist at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, one of the country’s leading tertiary referral centres. He specialises in upper gastrointestinal physiology and endoscopy — the very two areas of expertise required to successfully battle acid reflux disease and other digestive issues. 

Dr. Zeki’s private gastroenterology clinic is easily accessible with consultations available within the prestigious HCA at the Shard Clinic, as well as diagnostic and treatment facilities like the Endoscopy Suite at London Bridge Hospital. 

The patient journey

Diagnosis

Your path towards acid reflux relief with Dr. Zeki begins with a conversation. It is likely that getting to know the details of your symptoms will be enough to get a diagnosis. But, if not, there are a couple simple procedures that will help determine if you do have GORD. 

An endoscopy involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into the throat in order to take a peek inside of the oesophagus. While this test may be slightly uncomfortable, it is painless and administered along with a sedative or anaesthetic. 

pH monitoring involves placing a tiny wireless device inside your oesophagus for a number of hours in order to measure the levels of acidity. Once the device is inserted, most people do not feel its presence and can go about their daily activities with ease. 

Treatment

Acid reflux is a condition that can often be resolved through simple lifestyle changes. If you have a mild case, Dr. Zeki will provide you with detailed guidance for adjusting your diet and eating habits. However, if a more intensive approach is required, there are medication and surgical options available. Dr. Zeki is dedicated to finding the treatment plan that is the most comfortable and effective for you. 

Don’t let acid reflux control your life

Acid reflux FAQs

If I have heartburn, does that mean I have GORD?

Not necessarily. Having a little heartburn every now and then is perfectly normal. It is only when symptoms start occuring at least 2-3 times a week that you should see a doctor as soon as you can. 

Can acid reflux lead to other big health problems?

Yes. An excess of acid can lead to tissue damage and issues like ulcers, Barrett’s oesophagus, and even gastric or oesophageal cancer. 

Are there over-the-counter medications to treat acid reflux?

There are two types of over-the-counter medicines designed to help with acid reflux and heartburn: antacids and acid reducers. The first aims to neutralise excess acid, while the second actually reduces its production. They can certainly be effective solutions in the moment, but if you are suffering from chronic heartburn and acid reflux, it’s extremely important to see a specialist to prevent further damage. 

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