Acid reflux is a common yet uncomfortable condition. While it mostly comes and goes quite quickly, some people may experience ongoing bouts of acid reflux.
You will find that the condition mostly occurs at night. This often leads to issues with sleep, and it can be really painful. If you are suffering with acid reflux at night, there are ways to try and stop it in its tracks. Below, you’ll discover the causes and symptoms of acid reflux, alongside how it can be effectively treated.
What causes acid reflux at night?
There are several causes of acid reflux at night. The main one tends to be eating or drinking certain foods not long before bed. However, it can also pinpoint a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This is an ongoing condition which causes the acids of the stomach to go back into the oesophagus.
When you lie flat, it tends to aggravate the symptoms. This is what makes it more noticeable at night. Another potential reason you might be experiencing night time acid reflux, is any medications you might be taking. Some are known to contribute towards heartburn and acid reflux.
Top symptoms of acid reflux
If you want to stop acid reflux in its tracks, you need to learn to recognise the symptoms. As well as the familiar burning sensation, other symptoms of the condition include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
The burning sensation can occur in the throat, stomach, or chest. You’ll also find the symptoms are much worse at night. If you are experiencing a combination of the symptoms above, it’s worth getting a diagnosis from the doctor. Some of the symptoms could also point to underlying health issues.
If you are diagnosed with acid reflux, there are some great treatment options available.
How is acid reflux treated?
The treatment you’ll need for acid reflux will depend upon its cause. If it is dietary related, making simple changes to what you eat, and drink will usually be enough. However, if it is caused by a hernia or ulcer for example, you will need to treat them to eliminate the acid reflux.
If the condition is caused by GERD, surgery may be required. There are two main surgical techniques which could be used. The first is the Fundoplication technique, and the second is the Stretta procedure.
The Fundoplication technique reinforces and tightens up the muscle valves. It does this by wrapping the upper stomach around the outer lower oesophagus. It is carried out via keyhole surgery, with patients typically allowed home the same day.
The Stretta procedure involves making tiny incisions within the oesophagus tissue. It is an outpatient procedure, and it encourages scar tissue to form, strengthening the nearby muscles. It also helps to reduce the sensitivity of the muscles and tissue to stomach acid.
If acid reflux at night is negatively impacting your life, book a consultation with Mr Woodward today. During the consultation, you will be advised which form of treatment will be most effective to clear up the condition.