First Aid Handbook: Acid Reflux

An old woman clutches her throat
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We have all had it, whether we recognized it for what it is or not. When it does happen the first time, you may have felt like it was a bigger deal than it turned out to be, that’s how much discomfort you may have. Integrity Urgent Care has some tips and solutions for the next time you get a bout of acid reflux and maybe a few ideas for how to prevent it in the first place.





In our bodies, there is a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This is how the food we eat and the drink we enjoy get into our digestive system. When stomach acid flows backwards into the esophageal tube, the lining gets irritated, causing acid reflux. Common symptoms are heartburn, either after eating or when laying down at night. Some regurgitation of food could happen. Other patients have difficulty swallowing or have a sensation of a lump in their throat. It could even cause disrupted sleep for those who have it at nighttime or chest pain.


In the midst of an attack of acid reflux, you may choose to wait it out. Elevating the head if you are trying to sleep can help in some cases. Other over-the-counter medications may alleviate some of the pressure and pain. Antacids like Mylanta and Tums are easy to obtain and keep on hand. Some patients have acid reflux frequently enough to warrant surgery, but this may be because of anatomical differences in their body.


Some patients who are overweight experience acid reflux more often so losing weight or stopping smoking can help you see less symptoms. Certain foods may trigger acid reflux like spicey foods, fried and fatty foods, or certain beverages like alcohol and coffee. Allowing food time to digest before lying down in bed may be helpful in some cases. Eating food slowly and avoiding certain types of clothing could help as well. There are other medications a doctor may prescribe after some of these life changes are attempted.

When to See a Doctor

If your chest pain is severe or if you are also experiencing shortness of breath or jaw and arm pain, you need to see a doctor immediately. You may be having a full heart attack instead of just having acid reflux. If you have acid reflux frequently, even with a reduction in common foods that trigger it, you will want to let one of our staff know. Additionally, according to the Mayo Clinic, if you “take over-the-counter medications for heartburn more than twice a week” you will want to seek medical care.

If you are experiencing acid reflux regularly, you may need additional help. Our caring staff at Integrity Urgent Care Clinic knows you are uncomfortable, and it is our job to help you find relief. Come see us at one of our many locations, today.

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