We’ve all heard of acid reflux but what is it? What should I know about it and do I need to see a doctor?
If you have questions, please reach out to us at the Quincy Student Health and Wellness Center at (509) 787-8943.
We are here to help!
What is it?
- Our stomachs contain strong acid (almost as strong as battery acid!), which helps break down food to make it easier to digest. When that acid backs up into the esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach), it causes acid reflux.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
- Heartburn (a burning feeling in your chest). Usually, worse after eating or when lying down.
- Regurgitation is when acid and undigested food flow back into your throat or mouth.
- Stomach pain, trouble swallowing, bad taste in the mouth, sore throat, cough, nausea or vomiting
What can I do to help control it?
- Avoid foods that make it worse. These include acidic food (like oranges, lemons, limes & tomatoes), fatty foods, coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, and peppermint.
- Lose weight (if you are overweight).
- Eat small meals throughout the day, rather than just a couple of big meals.
- Wait at least 2-3 hours after eating to lie down.
- Avoid clothing that squeezes your stomach.
Are there medications that can help?
- Yes! The medications work by reducing or blocking stomach acid.
- Antacids (like Tums, Mylanta or Maalox) can help for mild symptoms, but they only work for a short time.
- Histamine blockers (like Pepcid and Tagamet) are stronger and typically last longer than antacids.
- Proton pump inhibitors A.K.A. “PPIs” (such as Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix and Prevacid) are the most effective medications if you have more frequent or more severe symptoms. Talk to your medical provider if you feel like you may need these.
When should I see a doctor?
- If your symptoms are severe.
- If your symptoms do not get better with lifestyle changes and non-prescription medications.
- If your symptoms have been going on for years.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Quincy Student Health and Wellness Center at