Gastroenterologist - Wesley Chapel
2050 Ashley Oaks Circle,
Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

(813) 994-4800

Posts for tag: GERD

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
March 26, 2019
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

Could your persistent heartburn actually be gastroesophageal reflux disease?

Have you ever noticed a burning or gnawing in your throat and chest after eating something spicy? If so, then you’re no stranger to gerdheartburn. While the occasional bout of heartburn really isn’t much more than a nuisance if it’s happening regularly then you might actually have a condition known as GERD. From the office of our Wesley Chapel, FL, gastroenterologist Dr. Saeed Ahmed, find out more about GERD.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a disorder of the digestive tract that causes weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to stomach acid and sometimes food being regurgitated into the throat. Over time this can lead to damage to the esophageal and laryngeal tissues.

What are the signs and symptoms of GERD?

The classic warning sign of GERD is heartburn, as well as regurgitation of food and stomach acid in the throat or mouth. In some cases, GERD may even cause chest pain or make you feel like you have something stuck in your throat.

When should I see a doctor?

If you are dealing with severe or persistent heartburn then it’s time to see our Wesley Chapel, FL, GI doctor to find out what’s going on. We will discuss the symptoms you are experiencing to determine whether you may have GERD. In some cases, a barium esophagram may be performed. This x-ray allows us to see how both the sphincter and esophagus function to see if there are issues swallowing.

What are my treatment options?

There are several ways in which to treat GERD. The first line of defense will include making changes to your lifestyle and diet to reduce your risk for heartburn. These changes include:

  • Avoiding certain foods such as alcohol, coffee, and spicy and acidic foods
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Avoiding lying down immediately after eating
  • Maintaining a healthy weight or losing excess weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding eating 2-3 hours before bedtime

Along with lifestyle modifications your doctor may also prescribe medications that either block or reduce acid production within the stomach to help heal damage to tissue and to reduce GERD flare-ups both during and after meals. Those with minor symptoms may be able to get the relief they need from over-the-counter antacids.

Are you finding that mealtimes are being ruined by persistent heartburn? If so, then it’s time to find out how to get your symptoms under control. Call Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Ahmed.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
January 25, 2019
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

Find out when your heartburn may actually be a warning sign of something more.

Sure, there are moments when you might battle a nasty bout of heartburn. Perhaps it was that spicy burrito you had at lunch, or maybe you had a large meal a little too close to bedtime. While occasional heartburn isn’t a cause for concern, it is important to recognize when your heartburn symptoms could mean you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Know the warning signs so you know when to see your Wesley Chapel, FL, gastroenterologist Dr. Saeed Ahmed.

 

More about GERD

You might have GERD if you are dealing with,

  • Heartburn that often occurs after eating or worsens at night
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Food regurgitation (when food comes back up through the throat)
  • A lump-in-your-throat feeling
  • Chest discomfort
  • A persistent cough
  • Hoarseness

We know that chest pain alone can be a cause for concern and should be evaluated by a doctor right away to make sure that the symptom isn’t indicative of a more serious condition. This is particularly important if you’re also experiencing weakness or pain in your arms, or any trouble breathing alongside chest pain.

 

When to See a Doctor

It’s time to schedule an evaluation with our Wesley Chapel office if you are,

  • Experiencing persistent, recurring, or severe bouts of GERD
  • Taking over-the-counter antacids or other heartburn medications regularly
  • Taking antacids and the symptoms aren’t responding

 

Treating GERD

It’s important that you properly treat your GERD symptoms, for if you allow the esophagus to remain inflamed, it can lead to ulcers, a narrowing of the esophagus, and even esophageal cancer. A combination of lifestyle changes and medications can help you get your GERD under control.

 

Lifestyle Modifications

This includes,

  • Losing excess weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing or limiting alcohol and coffee
  • Avoiding foods that are fatty, fried, or spicy
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Waiting at least three hours after eating to lie down or go to sleep

 

Medications

Those with minor symptoms may be able to benefit from over-the-counter antacids, proton pump inhibitors, or H-2 receptor blockers, which work to either reduce, neutralize, or block acid production. Of course, some patients may require a stronger prescription medication that works in the same way as these over-the-counter approaches but which may be more effective for those dealing with more severe GERD symptoms.

 

Concerned? Give Us a Call!

If you are dealing with any of the symptoms of GERD, it’s important that you have a gastroenterologist that you can turn to for an evaluation. Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, is dedicated to giving you the care and treatment you need to get your GERD under control! Call us today at (813) 994-4800.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
October 09, 2018
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

Do you suffer from heartburn? It's that uncomfortable, after-meal pain in the center of your chest. If it happens frequently, you should see gerdDr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel. Also called GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn can have serious ramifications if not treated. Read more about this common GI problem.

The details on GERD

GERD happens with repeated regurgitation of stomach contents into the esophagus. People who are obese, eat a lot of spicy foods, smoke or abuse alcohol are prone to repeated attacks of heartburn. The strong acids damage the tender lining of the esophagus.

While many people have only occasional bouts of heartburn after overindulging in irritating foods, some individuals are chronically uncomfortable or have pain that is so bad, they feel they are having a heart attack. Additionally, GERD aggravates chronic conditions such as asthma, and some people struggle with persistent bad breath, or halitosis, excessive amounts of saliva, hoarseness, and even ear pain.

What should you do about GERD?

Consult with Dr. Saaed Ahmed in his Wesley Chapel office. He'll do a physical examination, take a medical history and review your GERD symptoms. Tell him what starts your attacks of heartburn, where the pain is located and what, if anything, helps relieve it.

Then, the doctor may order an endoscopic examination of your esophagus and stomach to look for ulcerations and structural abnormalities, such as a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when a small portion of the top of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm, or abdominal muscle which assists in breathing.

Endoscopic examination involves the introduction of a thin, flexible, and lighted tube into the esophagus. A tiny camera gives the doctor real time images of the lining of your GI tract.

Additionally, Dr. Ahmed may wish to perform pH testing. This examination uses a tiny monitor placed in the food pipe during endoscopy. It measures the level of acidity in the esophagus, helping the physician determine the best course of treatment.

Treatments for GERD

You may need prescription h2 receptor antagonists (Zantac) or proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec) to reduce stomach acidity. However, Dr. Ahmed also recommends lifestyle changes such as:

  • Wearing looser clothing, particularly at the waist
  • Losing weight
  • Raising the head of the bed or sleeping on two or three pillows
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Smoking cessation
  • Avoiding foods you know cause stomach upset (greasy foods, chocolate, onions)

A happy GI tract

If your heartburn persists, please contact Digestive Associates of Central Florida. Dr. Ahmed and his team will uncover the source of the problem and help you manage it. For a one-on-one consultation in Wesley Chapel, FL, call (813) 994-4800.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
November 20, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

What your gastroenterologist in Wesley Chapel, FL wants you to knowgerd

Occasional acid reflux, or heartburn, is normal but if you suffer frequent heartburn, it could be a symptom of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. If you think you might have GERD, you are not alone. In fact, over 60 million Americans have symptoms of GERD, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL wants to share the symptoms and effects of GERD.

Chronic acid reflux is the result of excess acid from your stomach traveling back up your esophagus. Ordinarily, a strong sphincter muscle keeps this from happening, but if the muscle isn’t working correctly, it may not close completely. The small opening allows stomach acid to back up into your esophagus. Over time, chronic acid reflux develops into GERD.

You may have GERD if you experience:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Chronic sour taste in your mouth
  • Chronic pain in your throat
  • Chronic dry coughing or wheezing
  • Eroding tooth enamel causing tooth sensitivity
  • Nausea, vomiting or chest pain

Untreated gastro-esophageal reflux disease can damage your esophagus in many ways. Untreated GERD can lead to:

  • Inflammation of your esophagus, a condition known as esophagitis; this condition causes your esophagus to swell, making it difficult to swallow.
  • Ulcers in your esophagus, which can lead to difficulty swallowing, nausea and chest pain
  • Narrowing and scarring of your esophagus, which can cause your esophagus to narrow, making it difficult to swallow
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • An increased risk of esophageal cancer

There are some helpful tips you can try which can reduce the symptoms of GERD. Consider:

  • Eating smaller meals
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Staying up for at least 2 to 3 hours after meals; don’t lie down after eating.
  • Keeping spicy foods out of your diet
  • Try taking over-the-counter antacids

If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, it’s time to see an expert. It’s time to call Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL. Early diagnosis means early treatment which can lead to a better outcome for you, so ​call us today at (813)994-4800!

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
September 18, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

GERD is a digestive disease that can make it a challenge to eat, swallow, and even sleep. It’s a condition that most often affects adults, gerdbut it can also show up in children. There are distinct symptoms that will let you know if you have a case of GERD. Learn more about how it can be diagnosed and treated by your gastroenterologist Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL.

What Is GERD?
GERD is an acronym for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It happens when acid and stomach contents regurgitate into the throat. The esophagus fails to prevent stomach fluids from entering and traveling back up to your mouth. This “reflux” of acids causes irritation of the throat and is often accompanied by heartburn. GERD is often caused by eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages that irritate the stomach. Patients who are overweight or sedentary are more prone to having GERD symptoms.

Common GERD Symptoms
Your Wesley Chapel digestive doctor will confirm whether you have GERD after an examination, but there are a few signs to look out for to diagnose this issue yourself:

- Difficulty swallowing saliva or food.
- More frequent swallowing throughout the day.
- A sensation that something is always caught in the back of your throat.
- Sore or itchy throat.
- Intermittent coughing, burping, and hiccupping.
- Burning sensation in the chest (heartburn).
- Bloated feeling.

GERD Treatments
This digestive disorder can usually be treated and managed successfully. Your doctor will likely recommend the following treatments to help relieve GERD symptoms:

- Medication to calm the stomach and inhibit acid secretion.
- Identification of food allergies that may be causing indigestion.
- Nutritional advice and diet modification. Exercise and activity may also help.
- Esophageal or anti-reflux surgery in rare, advanced cases.

Get Help with Your Digestive Problems
A digestive disorder like GERD can interfere with your life in a number of ways, which is why you should talk to a doctor about it. Call Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL today at (813) 994-4800 to explore treatment options.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
July 19, 2016
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

Frequent heartburn can be a symptom of a common condition called GERD. Saeed Ahmad, MD, your Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida, is here to describe GERD symptoms and explain treatment options.

What is GERD?Heartburn

Gastroesophagheal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux, occurs when stomach acids leak back into the esophagus from the stomach. The problem often occurs when the esophageal sphincter, a ring of tissue that serves as the separation between the stomach and the esophagus, is weak or doesn't close completely. The esophagus is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach.

What are common symptoms of GERD?

You may experience any of the following symptoms if you have GERD:

  • Heartburn
  • Burning sensation in the throat
  • Chest pain
  • Sour taste in your mouth
  • A lump in the throat feeling
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Asthma
  • Food regurgitation

How can I reduce GERD symptoms?

Certain foods and beverages, including onions, tomatoes, citrus fruits, fatty or fried foods, peppermint, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol and caffeinated or carbonated drinks can worsen symptoms and should be avoided. Symptoms can become worse when you lie down. If you suffer from GERD, it's a good idea to avoid lying down two to three hours after you eat. Raising the head of your bed six inches can also help you avoid uncomfortable reflux symptoms.

Eating five or six small meals, instead of three large meals, is recommended if you have GERD, as is losing weight if you are overweight. When you're overweight, those extra pounds can press on your stomach, forcing acids into your esophagus. Giving up smoking can improve your symptoms because smoking can affect the way the esophageal sphincter works.

How can a gastroenterologist help me?

Your Wesley Chapel doctor can recommend over-the-counter medications, such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors, to help relieve your symptoms. If these medications aren't effective, prescription-strength medications may be needed. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to strengthen or reinforce the esophageal sphincter.

If you experience frequent heartburn or other symptoms of GERD, your gastroenterologist can help you prevent or reduce these unpleasant symptoms. Call Saeed Ahmad, MD, your Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida at (813) 994-4800. Don't let GERD stop you from enjoying life!