You’ll know you have been taking OTC pills for heartburn too long when you can’t remember when you started. In addition, you have probably been taking heartburn pills too long when they don’t really help anymore, and you continue to have indigestion, heartburn and maybe even GERD several times a week. All these signs mean it’s time to skip the heartburn pill and see a GI specialist like Digestive Health Services.
Heartburn By Any Other Name
Heartburn is the common name given to several conditions from acid reflux, acid indigestion, and GERD. Heartburn is but a symptom of acid reflux. We feel a burning or pain in the chest and sometimes a bitter taste in our mouth. Because the esophagus is located just behind the heart, that is where we feel the pain.
Acid reflux is a common symptom of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus irritating the lining. Over time GERD can severely damage the esophagus and lead to other conditions including esophageal cancer. The symptoms include a burning throat, regurgitation, cough, belching, and pain in the chest especially if we lie down.
Relief From Proton Pump Inhibitors
These OTC and prescription medications known as PPIs simply reduce the symptoms of acid reflux or GERD. You are probably familiar with names like Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium and others which block the production of acid in the stomach. They may help the symptoms, yes, but they are meant to be a temporary fix and allow your esophagus to heal. Any longer than an 8 week course can lead to some complications.
Value Of A GI Specialist
If you have been using PPIs for 8 weeks or longer, it is time to see a specialist like Digestive Health Services. It may be you don’t need to take them any longer, it may be the dosage should be changed, or it could be a different problem.
A GI specialist is trained in diagnosing digestive disorders. They can discover the actual cause of your acid reflux, and after some tests they will make a determination of what treatment is best for your specific condition.
Whereas a primary physician can be a starting place for most medical issues, it’s best to put your gastrointestinal health into the hands of a GI specialist like Digestive Health Services. Having completed three extra years of study in gastrointestinal medicine during fellowship training, it makes a GI specialist an expert and the very best place to find the care you deserve.
Contact Digestive Health Services if you have been suffering with heartburn or acid reflux.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (630) 434-9312 today!