Acid Reflux Specialist

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Kinston, NC

If you’re one of the 60 million people in the United States who experiences acid reflux symptoms from time to time, experienced gastroenterologist Joseph Saracino, MD, can help. At his office in Kinston, North Carolina, Dr. Saracino offers in-office diagnostic testing to evaluate the severity of your reflux. He customizes treatment services to reduce the burning sensations common with acid reflux and improve your gastrointestinal health. Find out more about treatment options for acid reflux by calling the office of Joseph Saracino, MD, or by requesting an appointment through the online booking system.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, is a condition that causes a burning sensation in your chest because of a backflow of stomach acid into your esophagus. 

This backflow often occurs due to dysfunction in your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This ring of muscle normally opens to let food pass through, then closes to keep stomach acids from coming back up into your esophagus. When the LES isn’t working correctly, it can allow acids to leak backward.

When you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, you may receive a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

The hallmark symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation that occurs in your throat and your chest. 

You may also experience other acid reflux-related symptoms, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Tooth damage
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bitter taste in your mouth

Without treatment, chronic acid reflux can lead to more serious health complications, including an increased risk for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. 

If you do develop Barrett’s esophagus, Dr. Saracino offers BARRX™ Halo Ablation, a specialized technique that uses precisely controlled heat to destroy damaged or pre-cancerous tissue without harming the surrounding tissue.

What are the risk factors for acid reflux?

Acid reflux affects people of all ages, generally due to lifestyle habits. You may be at increased risk for developing acid reflux if you’re overweight or obese, if you lack daily exercise, or if you smoke.

You may also be more likely to develop acid reflux if you take certain medications for the treatment of asthma and allergies or if you use antidepressants or painkillers for chronic conditions.

Acid reflux is more likely to develop if you lie down after eating or if you eat large meals. 

You may also develop acid reflux after consuming:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Acidic juices
  • Carbonated drinks

Pregnant women may be more likely to experience acid reflux because the growing fetus can place extra pressure on the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.

How is acid reflux treated?

Generally, Dr. Saracino can help you find relief from acid reflux discomfort by recommending over-the-counter or prescription acid-reducing medications. There are also medications available that decrease your body’s production of acids.

Dr. Saracino also works with you on dietary and lifestyle modifications that can prevent acid reflux and GERD. 

These modifications may include:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Improving your posture
  • Avoiding tight clothing
  • Engaging in daily exercise

You should avoid eating and drinking substances that contribute to acid reflux and focus on eating a healthy diet.

If your current treatment for acid reflux isn’t working, schedule a consultation by calling the office of Joseph Saracino, MD, or by requesting an appointment online today.