Acidity, Heart Burn, Acid Reflux

When patient is having burning sensation or painful sensation in middle of the chest or in upper part of abdomen, due to abnormal presence of gastric acid in food pipe, it is known as acid reflux and the symptoms are commonly described by patients as acidity or heart burn.

Acid reflux can be seen due to multiple causes. Common causes are

  • Gastritis- swelling in the lining of stomach
  • Due to laxity of the valve between food pipe and stomach
  • Due to use of pain killer and some other medicines
  • Sometime fungal infection in food pipe may have similar symptoms.

H Pylori infection is a bacterial infection present in gastric mucosa. This can cause multiple problems like acute and chronic gastritis, atrophic gastritis, MALT lymphoma etc.

Not all but many patients with acid reflux may require UGI endoscopy (Know More) for the diagnosis of cause. During the endoscopy morphology of valve, erosions and ulcers of mucosa of food pipe and stomach can be examined and a biopsy sample can be taken.

  • Diet and lifestyle modifications key to handle such problems.
  • Keeping yourself active and having physical activity more than 45 minutes a day can be helpful.
  • Avoiding added sugar in beverages like tea and coffee, avoiding alcohol are few very helpful measures for prevention.
  • Avoiding food with high fat contents like deep fried food, oily food and very spicy food can definitely help in dealing with such problems.
  • Don’t take pain killers without consulting a doctor.

Medicines suppressing the acid secretion is main stay of the treatment (proton pump inhibitors). Apart from that treatment of underlying cause is prudent for permanent cure.

Medicines for eradication of H Pylori, removing pain killer usage etc can help for durable treatment.

 

In some cases where the valve is weak, surgery is done to strengthen the valve.