Welcome to the Reflux Center
As a physician I interact with my patients every day, getting to know them, their history and what brings them to see me in my office. I have discovered that, regardless of what brings them to me, many of my patients experience varying degrees of heartburn. Most of these patients have self-diagnosed and are self-treating with readily available over the counter medications. They see it as "just heartburn" or something that they have to "live with."
GERD - It's more than just heartburn.
If you experience heartburn at least 2 times per week, you may have GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. In the picture above you see the esophagus is a straight tube that transports food from the mouth to the stomach. At the base of the tube is a special muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES opens to allow food to enter the stomach; but at times, a failure in the sphincter will allow stomach acids to wash up or reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. When acid comes in contact with the sensitive lining of the esophagus the resulting pain and burning is what is known as heartburn.
You may be familiar with the traditional burning sensation of heartburn, but symptoms can include:
- Chest pain, especially while lying down
- Chronic dry cough
- Chronic sore throat
- Breathing difficulties - asthma like symptoms
- Hoarseness or a deepening of your voice
- Excessive clearing of the throat
- Frequent burping or hiccups
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent swallowing
- Sour taste in your mouth
- Cavities and gum disease, especially in the rear portion of your mouth
GERD is so common place that the drug industry has many options readily available for purchase without a prescription. But is that really the best treatment option? Medications do have their place in the treatment of reflux, but pills are not the only answer.
Don't suffer in silence any longer. Make an appointment today for an evaluation of your symptoms and discuss treatment options with Dr. Islam. You can use this form to request an appointment.