What does an otolaryngologist have to do with reflux?

What does an otolaryngologist have to do with reflux?

A few words about gastro-oesophageal reflux.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux is the rising up of stomach fluids to the oesophagus, thus extending to the larynx, pharynx and finally to the nose. As a result, the acidic stomach fluids irritate those regions and cause diverse damage such as esophagitis, chronic laryngitis and pharyngitis, as welll as chronic rhinitis.

The possible causes of reflux are considered to be hiatal hernia, gastritis, stomach ulcers, overweigth. It seems, at any rate, that gastro-oesophageal reflux is directly linked to modern lifestyle and is exacerbated by anxiety and irregular and unhealthy diet.

The symptoms which appear are chiefly those associated with oesophagitis, namely:

  • difficulties swallowing,
  • heartburn,
  • burping and bloating,
  • “burning” sensation in the stomach,
  • tendency to vomit,
  • sudden awakening from sleep due to “sour” regurgitation.

However, about half the patients with reflux do not even have any of these symptoms.

Sometimes, reflux only appears with symptoms such as:

  • hoarseness,
  • feeling of something stuck in the throat,
  • chronic pain in the pharynx,
  • postnasal drip,
  • difficulty breathing through the nose.

Therefore, it is not so rare that the patient will consult an otolaryngologist, who will respond with the according examinations to identify the problem and provide the initial advice on how to deal with it.

What you should know so as to better manage gastro-oesophageal reflux.

Regarding diet

A) Eat small, light and more frequent meals.

B) Do not lie down for at least two and a half hours after the evening meal.

C) Avoid:

  • fizzy drinks
  • alcohol
  • liquids and soups at night
  • fatty meals
  • excessive use of oil
  • chocolate
  • pies with pastry, pizzas
  • fried foods, sauces, spices
  • coffee, black tea
  • anything containing mint
  • syrupy sweets

D) Try to lose weight.

Regarding clothing

Avoid wearing tight clothes and tight belts.

Also, avoid smoking. Is getting worse the reflux.

Avoid, as far as possible, medication that irritates your stomach.

Particular body positions exacerbate reflux. Therefore:

  • Avoid bending over so that you do not put pressure on your stomach.
  • Place a chock or brick (about 15 centimetres) under the legs of the headboard of your bed so that you are sleeping on an incline. In this way, gravity with prevent stomach fluids from rising.
  • Bear in mind that management of gastro-oesophogeal reflux demands essential lifestyle changes and medical care must be undertaken with the guidance of a specialist, in this case, a gastroenterologist.

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