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GERD/Heartburn

GERD/Heartburn services offered in Richmond, Colonial Heights, Midlothian, N. Chesterfield, Short Pump, Henrico and Mechanicsville, VA

Are you one of the 60 million Americans living with heartburn at least once a month? At Richmond Gastroenterology Associates, with eight offices in Richmond, Colonial Heights, Chesterfield, Henrico, and Mechanicsville, Virginia, a group of the state’s most educated and experienced gastroenterology specialists offer solutions for heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Book your appointment online or call the office nearest to you today.

GERD/Heartburn Q & A

What is heartburn?

True to its name, heartburn is a burning sensation in the upper chest, under the breastbone. This uncomfortable issue is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What causes heartburn?

The Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team may diagnose you with GERD, the main cause of heartburn, if you experience mild acid reflux at least twice weekly or moderate-to-severe acid reflux at least once weekly.

With acid reflux, stomach acids move upwards (the wrong way) due to a faulty gastroesophageal valve (GEV). The valve should seal to keep stomach acids from refluxing, but when you have GERD it doesn’t remain closed, which then triggers acid reflux and heartburn.

The risk factors for GERD include:

  • Struggling with your weight
  • Having a hiatal hernia
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Lack of exercise

Certain foods are GERD triggers in many people as well. Common examples include fatty, fried, and spicy foods as well as citrus, coffee, and carbonated drinks.

How is heartburn treated?

The Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team can help you to make lifestyle changes that will ease your heartburn symptoms, including:

  • Raising the head of your bed by 6-10 inches
  • Avoiding lying down for at least two hours after meals
  • Weight management 
  • Diet changes, like avoiding trigger foods
  • Quitting smoking
  • Wearing loose clothing

Some cases of GERD are more severe and may require either medication or a medical procedure. Medication, which includes over-the-counter and prescription options, can be effective in controlling heartburn.

However, GERD may require a more long-term solution, especially if you want to avoid daily medication. One long-term solution is transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF®), a no-incision nonsurgical procedure that involves the endoscopic repair of your GEV. 

Richmond Gastroenterology Associates specialist Bimaljit Sandhu, MD, is one of the only gastroenterologists in Virginia with the advanced training and skills required for this procedure. The TIF procedure can give you long-term relief from persistent heartburn without requiring a lengthy surgery or hospital stay.

If you’re living with frustratingly frequent heartburn and over-the-counter remedies aren’t working, Richmond Gastroenterology Associates has better answers waiting for you. Call the office nearest to you or use the online scheduling link to make your appointment now.