The stomach produces acid to digest food. Normally, this acid does not damage the mucosa that is protected by a layer of protective mucus. When the protective balance of the stomach is lost, damage occurs that often causes pain. Gastritis pain is usually in the upper abdomen, is often burning, and maybe relieved or worse by meals.
Gastroesophageal reflux causes a sensation in which the patient perceives the acid rising the esophagus. It is a burning sensation in the center of the chest, often accompanied by a bitter sensation in the mouth. It also shows pain similar to gastritis and it is not uncommon to have symptoms such as cough, hoarseness, a feeling of obstruction in the throat, difficulty swallowing, asthma, or a sore throat.
Diseases caused by stomach acid include gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer. All these pathologies are of attention by the gastroenterologist. To make an accurate diagnosis, a gastroscopy is recommended. Gastroscopy is an exam that we perform in our clinic, in which a small camera is inserted through the mouth and we visualize the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine. It is done under sedation so that the patient has no memory of the exam or traumatic experiences.
The patient with these symptoms has the possibility of coming for a prior consultation to be calmly assessed and decide if a gastroscopy is necessary. Also, you could choose to come directly to the gastroscopy and with the result in hand, take advantage of the fact that Dr. Navarro explains the procedure and gives the treatment according to the findings and the patient’s discomfort, at the end of the examination. That way it could be that the query becomes unnecessary, of course, complex cases will always require a separate query.
Treatment of acid-related illnesses usually consists of medications that block the secretion of acid in the stomach. They are almost always administered on an empty stomach, but in more severe cases it is necessary to give a second dose before dinner.
When a case does not respond to conventional treatment, further studies should be performed which could include studies that measure the acidity of the esophagus (pHmetry) or radiological studies. Different treatments such as neuromodulators also come into play.