Heartburn and reflux center in Englewood, Florida
The specialists at Englewood Community Hospital provide extraordinary care for patients with heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Our board-certified physicians have extensive training and perform a range of advanced diagnostic and treatment procedures to help ease patients' symptoms.
If you are experiencing chronic heartburn or acid reflux, schedule an appointment with one our specialists by calling (941) 473-5011.
Diagnostic testing services
The team at our hospital performs a range of diagnostic tests to identify the severity of your heartburn and reflux symptoms and their effects on your body. Testing options may include:
- Esophageal motility study (manometry)—This test evaluates the function of the esophagus, including how well the muscles within the esophagus are working.
- 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring—This test measures the amount of acid flowing into the esophagus over a 24-hour time period.
- Barium swallow—This test involves the ingestion of barium, which can be seen on X-rays, to visualize abnormalities in the stomach and esophagus.
- Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series—This test uses a contrast agent, such as barium, to highlight the upper GI tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) for imaging.
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)—This test uses an endoscope to examine the lining of the upper GI tract.
- Abdominal ultrasound—This test uses ultrasound imaging to examine the organs in the abdomen and their structures.
- Gastric emptying study—This test evaluates the amount of time it takes for an ingested meal to move through the stomach.
- Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan—This imaging procedure uses a radioactive tracer to track movement of parts of the small intestine, gall bladder and liver while gathering images of these areas.
Following testing, your doctor will identify the best treatment option, which can range from medications and lifestyle changes to surgery.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
GERD is the result of a weak muscle (the lower esophageal sphincter) within the esophagus. This muscle acts as a reflux barrier within the body. When functioning correctly, the barrier acts as a one-way valve that allows food to flow into the stomach and prevents stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus. However, people who experience GERD have a barrier that does not function properly, allowing stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus.
For some people, GERD poses a serious medical problem. Severe cases of GERD can lead to esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, strictures and esophageal cancer.
GERD risk factors
There are several factors that may increase your risk for developing GERD, including:
- Being 40 years old or older
- Being overweight
- Being pregnant
- Eating and drinking certain things, such as:
- Caffeinated beverages
- Citrus foods
- Spicy foods and peppermint
- Tomato-based foods
- Having diabetes
- Performing jobs that require stooping, bending or heavy lifting
When heartburn is a sign of GERD
Heartburn is a common symptom that affects approximately 20 percent of Americans. However, it can be an indicator of GERD, especially if your heartburn:
- Affects your sleep
- Has occurred regularly for several years
- Occurs twice or more a week
- Persists and becomes more severe
Other GERD symptoms
Aside from chronic heartburn, GERD may also produce other symptoms, such as:
- Achalasia (failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to open when swallowing)
- Acid reflux
- Chest pain
- Chronic, non-productive dry cough
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Hiatal hernia (upper portion of the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm)
- Shortness of breath
If you have heartburn/GERD or take medication for those conditions, please complete this 10-question GERD Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL)
- 0 = No Symptoms
- 1 = Symptoms noticeable, but not bothersome
- 2 = Symptoms noticeable and bothersome, but not every day
- 3 = Symptoms bothersome every day
- 4 = Symptoms affect daily activities
- 5 = Symptoms are incapacitating, unable to do daily activities
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