When it comes to losing weight, the problem can often be insurmountable for many. When dieting isn’t working, and you aren’t getting any long-lasting results, it can be to your advantage to consider a more drastic measure such as gastric sleeve surgery.
Gastric sleeve surgery is the process of surgically removing a portion of your stomach. This reduces the amount of food that the stomach can hold making the full stomach faster.
One of the gastric sleeve side effects that some suffer is acid reflux. While not everyone suffers from acid reflux after gastric bypass surgery, it is possible that you will need to seek treatment for it.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is essentially when acid rises from the stomach into the esophagus and throat. This can be very uncomfortable and make it impossible to eat food when you need to. It can be most prevalent when lying down and can cause significant discomfort.
Acid reflux is often referred to as GERD and is a chronic condition that allows the flow of stomach acid and sometimes bile to flow back up. Patients suffering from GERD typically experience these symptoms more than twice a week, and it can dramatically change the way that daily life is managed.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
There are many symptoms caused by acid reflux that can be very uncomfortable for those suffering from this health issue.
- Heartburn: A burning pain and discomfort that that moves up from your stomach to the center of your abdomen, chest area, and in some cases, your neck. This does not in any way affect your heart, despite its name.
- Regurgitation: Acid can back up into your throat or mouth, producing a sour/bitter taste. In some cases, you may even burp or vomit up some of the contents of your stomach.
- Dyspepsia: This is a term used for stomach discomforts such as burping, nausea after eating, fullness or bloating in the abdomen, upper abdominal pain, and discomfort.
These symptoms can be a sign that your esophagus has become inflamed in your stomach acid. This can damage the lining of your esophagus and cause bleeding.
How to Know if You Have Acid Reflux After Gastric Sleeve
When laying down, bending over or lifting a heavy object, or after eating a heavy meal, acid reflux may very well occur.
The times at which you experience acid reflux symptoms can vary depending on personal circumstances. However, many do experience symptoms at night, and more than half of all pregnant women experience symptoms throughout the course of their pregnancy. Fortunately for those pregnant women, the heartburn goes away after pregnancy and is not a serious issue.
Treatment Options for Acid Reflux After Gastric Sleeve
Treatment for acid reflux that has been caused by gastric sleeve surgery is often a combination of dietary changes and medications. Some of the over-the-counter medications can be useful in the early stages of acid reflux. If these do not produce lasting results, a physician can prescribe stronger drugs that might provide better and longer lasting relief.
Among the different medications are several options for the type of assistance. Antacids contain a neutralizing effect on stomach acid; some drugs reduce acid production itself and others block the production of acid while also healing the esophagus which can become damaged by the stomach acid.
In some cases, the acid reflux in patients that have had gastric sleeve surgery can be a result of some crucial missteps in the way they are recovering. Overeating after surgery can cause reflux symptoms as well as not drinking enough fluids and taking care to eat foods that are not going to be too spicy.
Another possibility is that the individual had some form of reflux before the surgery, and the surgery aggravated the situation by reducing the amount of space for the stomach acid to reside. Whatever the case it is vital that you seek medical attention if you experience any pain or discomfort such as acid reflux.
The physician can start to help you immediately before the condition worsens. The longer that a person suffers from it, the more likely they will be to do damage that can linger for some time.