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Treatment Options Available for Acid Reflux

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					Title:
Treatment Options Available for Acid Reflux

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548

Summary:
Do you suffer from acid reflux or frequent heartburn? The burning
sensation at the back of your throat or down by the breat bone can be
quite painful.
Find out what treatment options are available and what most physicans
recommend to treat acid reflux.


Keywords:
acid reflux, acid reflux diet, acid reflux symptom, acid reflux
treatment, acid reflux cause, acid reflux medication, Antacids


Article Body:
Do you suffer from acid reflux or frequent heartburn? The burning
sensation at the back of your throat or down by the breat bone can be
quite painful. Most physicians will first recommend lifestyle
modifications for treatment of acid reflux. Preventative measures are the
preferred method of relief.

Lifestyle Modifications

* Avoid soft drinks that contain caffeine. Other foods to avoid are
chocolate, peppermint, spicy foods, acidic foods like oranges, canned
tomatoes, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels and sprouts.

* Milk and milk-based products contain calcium and fat, so should be
avoided before bedtime.

* Avoiding food for 2 hours before bedtime and not lying down after a
meal are frequently recommended lifestyle modifications.

* Elevation to the head of the bed is the next-easiest to implement.
Products are also available as seen on tv that will elevate the head of
your bed through the use of an inflatable mattress lifter. This is an
ideal low cost solution for relief from acid reflux.

You can also accomplish the correct elevation by placing cinder blocks as
noted above or with other items: plastic or wooden bed risers which
support bed posts or legs, a bed wedge pillow.

The height of the elevation is critical and must be within the range of 6
to 8 inches in order to be as effective as possible in hindering the
backflow of gastric fluids. Elevating the bed is also known as
"positional therapy".

Drug treatments
A number of drugs are registered for the treatment of acid reflux, and
they are among the most-often-prescribed forms of medication in most
Western countries. They can be used in combination with other drugs,
although some antacids can impede the function of other medications.

* Antacids before meals or symptomatically after symptoms begin can
increase the pH and reduce gastric acidity. Alginic acid may coat the
mucosa as well as increase the pH and decrease reflux.

* Gastric H2 receptor blockers such as ranitidine or famotidine can
reduce gastric secretion of acid. These drugs are technically
antihistamines. They relieve complaints in about 50% of all acid reflux
patients.

* Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole are the most effective in
reducing gastric acid secretion, as they stop the secretion of acid at
the source of acid production, i.e. the proton pump.

To maximize effectiveness of this medication the drug should be taken a
half hour before meals. Prokinetics strengthen the lower esophageal
sphincter and speed up gastric emptying. Cisapride, a member of this
class, was withdrawn from the market for causing Long QT syndrome.

If one implements pharmacologic therapy in combination with food
avoidance before bedtime and elevation of the head of the bed over 95% of
patients will have complete relief.

Surgical treatment

The standard surgical treatment, sometimes preferred over longtime use of
medication, is the Nissen fundoplication. The upper part of the stomach
is wrapped around the lower esophageal sphincter to strengthen the
sphincter and prevent acid reflux and to repair a hiatal hernia. The
procedure is often done laparoscopically.

An obsolete treatment is vagotomy, the surgical removal of vagus nerve
branches that innervate the stomach lining. This treatment has been
largely replaced by medication.

Disclaimer
The information presented here should not be interpreted as medical
advice. If you or someone you know suffers from acid reflux, please seek
professional medical advice for the latest treatment options.

				
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posted:11/3/2011
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