Bay Area Gastroenterology: Stomach – Acid Reflux/Gerd

Bay Area Gastroenterology offers a comprehensive array of services to aid in the diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of your gastrointestinal health. One of the most common ailments is acid reflux or GERD.

Acid reflux affects most people at one time or another throughout their lives. Mild reflux that occurs infrequently is typically harmless. However, if left untreated the heartburn can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and in chronic cases the damage to the esophagus can increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

  • Asthma (gastric juices rise into the throat, mouth, and air passages of the lungs)
  • Chest burn (the result of heartburn)
  • Dental erosion
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Hoarseness
  • Regurgitation (food brought back into the mouth)

ACID REFLUX: HOW IT WORKSAcid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not function properly. As a result, acid is able to seep upwards from the stomach to the esophagus and mouth. Some common causes of acid reflux include pregnancy, large meals/spicy foods/caffeine, frequent bending forward, hiatal hernia, peptic ulcers, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

  • Diet (Foods to Avoid): Alcohol, black pepper, chili and chili powder, citrus fruit, coffee, garlic, spicy food, tea, tomatoes and tomato products, and vinegar.
  • Acid Suppressants (histamines)
  • Propton Pump Inhibitors
  • Prokinetic Agents
  • Antacids (for mild reflux symptoms)
  • Sleeping habit: raising the pillow to a 45 degree angle and sleeping only on back

If the aforementioned treatments do not alleviate the symptoms, patients may be evaluated for the HALO procedure. Performed by the specialists at Bay Area Gastroenterology Clinic, the HALO ablation technology is designed to remove the Barrett’s epithelium in a short, well-tolerated endoscopic procedure. Two balloon-based HALO360+ devices are available for treating larger areas of circumferential Barrett’s esophagus, while the HALO90 is a focal ablation device used to treat smaller areas.

If you are suffering from chronic acid reflux, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention. Acid reflux can lead to lifelong heartburn, damage to the esophageal lining, and esophageal cancer later in life.

To schedule an appointment with the gastrointestinal health specialists at Bay Area Gastroenterology Clinic, please call 281-480-6264.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD is discussed in this video by Dr. Sezen Altug.

Repetitive injury to the esophagus from stomach acids can lead to a condition known as Barrett’s Esophagus.

A patient diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus should under go treatment to control reflux symptoms with dietary modifications and medical therapy.

Any patient with Barrett’s Esophagus is recommended to have a periodic upper endoscopy to look for abnormal or pre-cancerous tissue changes. These precancerous changes or dysplasia are very important to be diagnosed and monitored because patients who develop a condition called high grade dysplasia are at significant risk to progress on to esophageal cancer.

Dr. Altug treats high grade dysplasia related to Barrett’s esophagus with the HALO Ablation Technique. The HALO Ablation Technique is done during a routine upper endoscopy in an outpatient setting.