Do you have problems with food getting stuck in your throat when swallowing? Do you have to drink liquids and work to get the food to go down? You may have an esophageal stricture. Strictures or narrowing of the esophagus can be caused by continued exposure to stomach acid during acid reflux. A stricture is caused by the forming of scar tissue and/or swelling of the esophagus.
There is hope if you have this problem. You should visit a gastroenterologist (GI doctor) to determine the extent of your problem. They will put a scope down your throat to assess your condition. In my case, I was scoped. During the scoping process, my esophagus was biopsied to check for signs of cancer, they saw excess acid, and a stricture which they dilated (stretched) to help me overcome my swallowing difficulties. It has helped some.
To keep from going back every couple of years to have the stricture dilated, I have to reduce my acid reflux problems. I currently take antacids, a H2 blocker, and a PPI to reduce the excess acids. I am also working on a diet plan that reduces my chances of getting heartburn. Changing dietary habits is hard. I don’t always have the willpower needed to avoid certain foods, but I am pushing forward on a daily basis to reduce the acidity level of my body thusly raising my pH to a healthier level. Balancing your body’s pH will help your bowels perform better and hopefully allow you to avoid taking acid reducing medications. It’s important to control heartburn through diet to avoid the side effects of the medications. I prefer to medicate though eating properly and avoiding trigger foods to prevent the problem before it starts. Heartburn medications just cover up the problems caused by improper diet.
Tags: acid reflux medication acid reflux treatment complications esophageal stricture gerd treatment medical procedure