When you suffer the agony of acid reflux, you want relief right away. There are several approaches to the treatment of acid reflux. How often you experience the discomfort and the severity of your symptoms will determine the best options for you.

If heartburn and indigestion bother you occasionally, the best plan for you is probably lifestyle changes. Stop eating three hours before bedtime, or elevate the head of your bed about six inches. This will help to relieve nighttime acid reflux. In addition, eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day will help to ease the discomfort. Keeping a food diary will help you track the specific foods that create problems for you. Then you can eliminate them from your diet to treat your acid reflux.

If lifestyle changes don't make a difference, or if you have chronic acid reflux, you might need to get prescription medication from your doctor. You will be asked about your lifestyle and eating habits, as well as about the symptoms you experience. You will also be evaluated for any complications, such as asthma, sore throats, problems swallowing, or frequent unexplained lung infections.

If no complications are uncovered, you will probably receive a prescription medication that reduces the amount of acid that your stomach produces. If this works well for you, you will have to continue taking the medication until your digestive system is healed.

If prescription medication doesn't solve your problem, then you will need further examination to find the solution to your acid reflux. You might be scheduled for an evaluation by an endoscope, or EGD. This instrument permits the doctor to visualize the esophagus, and take a biopsy if needed. Chronic acid reflux can cause changes to the cells that line the esophagus. When this happens, it is called Barrett's esophagus, and is a pre-cancerous condition that requires close monitoring.

Constant acid reflux can also cause scaring to the lining of the esophagus. The stomach acid continually splashes back up onto the membranes of the esophagus; this can cause scaring, or strictures to develop. As this happens, the esophagus begins to narrow, restricting the size of the actual opening. This is dangerous, as food can become lodged there, and need to be surgically removed. A procedure called endoscopic dilation is then performed, to widen the opening to the original size.

Finding an effective treatment for your acid reflux is important. Don't put it off, thinking that it isn't serious, and that everybody has it. The faster you solve the problem, the healthier you will be.

Author's Bio: 

Gerri Stone is an R.N. who enjoys sharing tips with others to help them stay healthy. Visit her blog at Health Tips Discover a free simple test to determine how acidic you really are, and the safe, all natural, guaranteed cure for permanent freedom from your heartburn and digestive problems at AcidsRefluxSolution.com