Treating severe acid reflux after a gastric bypass

Gastric bypass is one of the most effective ways of helping people who are morbidly obese to reduce their calorie consumption and lose weight. During the surgery, the surgeon cuts off the top of the stomach and seals it off from the rest of the stomach, reducing the amount of food that your stomach can hold. The doctor then cuts a small part of the ileum and attaches it to the stomach, which reduces the amount of food which will be absorbed by the body. The surgery is the least invasive weight loss surgery, especially when done through laparoscopy. However, it does present some side effects like chronic acid reflux.

Use of antacids

If the pain and discomfort is mild, you can use over-the-counter antacids to manage the symptoms of acid reflux. The antacids neutralise the acidity of the contents which are released back to the esophagus, reducing the burning sensation. However, the use of over the counter antacids is meant to only offer temporary relief for those symptoms.

Use of acid blockers

If the problem persists even with the use of over-the-counter antacids, the doctor can prescribe stronger medication to deal with the problem. Stronger medication includes drugs which block the production of stomach acid or reduce the amount that is produced. When you use these drugs, you give the esophagus a chance to heal from the inflammation caused by the acid.

Change of eating habits

Certain foods are known for their ability to increase the rate of acid production. These include foods that are greasy and excessively spicy. To reduce the level of heartburn you get after a gastric bypass surgery, you have to avoid fast food, as it is usually quite greasy, and embrace whole foods. You should also limit the amount of spices you use in your cooking. In addition to this, you need to have the needed discipline not to overeat because the surface area of the stomach reduces greatly after the surgery, making it easier to get reflux.

Acid reflux is a common problem for people recovering from different types of bariatric surgeries. The most important thing to remember is that if you immediately start experiencing problems after the surgery, you should consult a medical professional with experience in gastroenterology. They will perform tests which determine the pH level in the gut and figure out the right treatment for your case. Doctors may recommend surgery to lengthen the gut, but this is usually a last resort.