Living with chronic acid reflux

Sudarshan Singal, M.D.

Sudarshan Singal, M.D.

Q: My husband has achalasia. The prospect of having life-long acid reflux after the esophagomyotomy surgery sounds awful. Are there other options we should consider? Lorrie P., Flat Rock

A: There are two other, more conservative options available now. Rather than surgery, he could undergo dilation of the esophagus under fluoroscopy at an outpatient facility. A large balloon is inserted into the esophagus and expands to dilate the muscle preventing proper swallowing. The second option also involves endoscopy and an injection of Botox at the lower end of the esophagus to paralyze the nerves causing the muscle contraction.

Q: Do acid reflux and general gastrointestinal problems cause rosacea and flushing? Lindsay J., Trenton

A: I do not think there is any association between these two things, but in case you have flushing and diarrhea, you need to be checked for carcinoid syndrome where the hormones are produced in the body which can cause both symptoms.

Q: Do I definitely need endoscopy if celiac disease is suspected, or is there another way for me to get a conclusive diagnosis? To be honest, the thought of the procedure makes me nervous and I’d like to avoid it. Daniel L., Southgate

A: The diagnosis can be made by doing a celiac panel blood test which measures antibodies in the blood, but you still need to have a confirmation done by endoscopy and biopsy of the small bowel.

Sudarshan Singal, M.D. is board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. His practices are at 2070 Biddle, Suite 1, in Wyandotte, and 4160 John R, Suite 608, in Detroit. Do you have a health question for Dr. Mekasha? Submit it by email to: askthedoctor@cscmi.net.

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