Weight Loss Treats Acid Reflux
“Heartburn” is common and frequently-referenced condition that is often overlooked as a serious medical condition. But for severely obese individuals suffering from acid reflux disease, the pain and discomfort of this condition is all too often a precursor to serious long-term problems. Fortunately, metabolic surgery offers many patients significant relief from acid reflux symptoms and minimizes the risk of more serious health problems in the future. By prompting rapid weight loss, changing the way the body processes food, and altering the body’s metabolism, metabolic surgery truly is a viable medical alternative to reliance on medication, enabling you to return to a healthier, happier lifestyle!
At The Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery, in Maitland, Florida, we strongly believe in the importance of well-informed patients who understand the complex relationship between obesity and common health problems such as acid reflux. For many individuals, cutting-edge metabolic and bariatric surgical techniques, when performed by a talented, experienced, Board Certified surgeon like Dr. Wiljon Beltre, offer the safest, most effective way to correct your body’s hormonal and metabolic imbalance in order to achieve significant weight loss, enable healthy lifestyle choices to have the effect they are meant to have, and improve overall comfort, health, and well-being.
What is Acid Reflux?
Also known as gastroesophafael reflux disease (GERD) or “ heartburn”, acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle at the base of the esophagus responsible for allowing the passage of food into the stomach. Acid reflux can occur if this sphincter muscle does not close properly, as well as during prolonged (up to a minute) periods when the sphincter is relaxed to allow gases to pass out of the stomach (causing a belch). In both cases, acid reflux symptoms are usually worse during sleep or other periods when the body is reclined.
The most common symptoms of acid reflux include pain and discomfort in the stomach and throat, indigestion and nausea, and a bad taste in the mouth, as well as insomnia or difficulty sleeping due to the discomfort caused by the disease when in a reclined position. However, acid reflux has serious long-term consequences that make controlling and if possible eliminating the disease extremely important. Long-term health concerns include problems swallowing due to irritation and inflammation, the development of sores and ulcers, and pre-cancerous changes known as Barrett’s esophagus.
The exact mechanisms underlying acid reflux are not yet completely understood, but the connections between acid reflux and obesity are becoming increasingly clear.
- Acid reflux may be caused or aggravated by the pressure of excess belly fat on the stomach; by pressing on the stomach, intragastric pressure is increased, and the lower esophageal sphincter is forced open, allowing the escape of stomach acids.
- Acid reflux disease can be caused by the development of a hiatal hernia, a common condition for severely obese individuals in which part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm. It is believed that large hiatal hernias prevent adequate closure of the sphincter muscle.
- Hormonal changes caused by obesity are thought to play a role in the development of GERD as well, although the connections between metabolic changes and GERD are less well understood than other possible causations.
How Metabolic Surgery Can Help
For some people, dietary changes and medications may be enough to control heartburn symptoms and moderate the risk of long-term damage. For many severely obese individuals, especially those with high levels of stomach fat, metabolic surgery offers an effective way to resolve acid reflux. Put simply, metabolic surgery rapidly reduces belly fat, decreasing the pressure on the stomach. When coupled with the healthier diet required by the long-term weight loss program, many patients see their acid reflux symptoms significantly moderated. And the more weight that is lost means better resolution of acid reflux symptoms.
In addition to enabling dramatic weight loss, metabolic surgeries such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy alter the ways in which the body processes food, potentially enabling the reduction of acid reflux. The smaller stomach pouch and the reduction in the volume of stomach acids in the pouch are now thought to play a role in the decrease of symptoms after surgery, and while still little understood, it is believed that the decrease in digestive hormones and the anatomical changes altering the mechanisms by which food passes through the digestive tract may also trigger a decrease in acid reflux.
Contact Beltre Bariatrics Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery
At The Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery, located in Maitland, Florida, we offer a proven, multifaceted approach to bariatric surgery that will empower you to achieve your weight loss goals, improve your health and appearance, and rebuild your self-confidence. Led by esteemed Board Certified surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre, one of the only fellowship-trained bariatric surgeons in Central Florida, we specialize in the latest cutting-edge procedures for safe, effective surgical weight loss coupled with a dedicated support team of caring, experienced specialists who will stand by your side to support you throughout your entire weight loss journey. Significant weight loss is not easy, but with the help of with our confidential consultation process, the surgical skill and experience of our medical team, and the advice and guidance of our on-going support network, we can help you achieve the lasting weight loss success you have been dreaming about.
If you are tired of the endless rounds of fad dieting and fruitless exercise regimens and think you may be ready for weight loss surgery, or if you would like more information about how weight loss surgery at Beltre Bariatrics Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery can improve—even potentially resolve—some obesity-related health problems such as acid reflux, contact us today for a free, individual consultation. We look forward to helping you start your weight loss journey today!
DISCLAIMER: Metabolic surgery involves a lifetime commitment to significant lifestyle changes, and is not for everyone. Individual results differ depending on each patient’s medical history and willingness and ability to adhere to the weight loss program specified by Dr. Beltre. As with all surgical procedures, all forms of metabolic surgery carry the risk of complications and side effects; additional details about potential complications, side effects, and other risks will be provided to you by Dr. Beltre during your pre-surgical consultations.
The doctors at Beltre Bariatrics Center for Metabolic & Obesity Surgery have reviewed and approved this content.Page Updated: