Dear Ask The Doctor: When I lie down at night I can sometimes taste acid coming up in my mouth. I do not take any meds and would like to know the best meds to take. I am 45 and sometimes take an acid reducer. Any advice would be appreciated.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, bile flows back (refluxes) into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash of acid irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD signs and symptoms.
This can cause heartburn, chest pain, dry cough, difficulty swallowing and hoarseness. Treatment for heartburn and other signs and symptoms of GERD usually begins with over-the-counter medications that control acid. If you don't find relief within a few weeks, your doctor may recommend other treatments, including medications and surgery. I would suggest you to start taking over the counter Antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Rolaids and Tums, may provide quick relief. But antacids alone won't heal an inflamed esophagus damaged by stomach acid.
Also you will need to wait at least two to three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed, elevate the head of your bed, avoid smoking, avoid common triggers such as fatty or fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, mint, garlic, onion and caffeine may make heartburn worse. If your acid reflux persists after following these recommendations, consult your primary care physician for a more detailed evaluation and prescription of more potent antacids and medications to help reduce and heal your esophagus. I wish you a prompt recovery.