Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn and acid reflux disease. These two conditions are caused by the function of a valve at the entrance of the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The job of the LES is to close as soon as food passes through, into the stomach. In the event that the LES does not close completely, or opens more often than it should – stomach acid will escape, and move into the esophagus causing heartburn. If symptoms like these occur more than twice weekly, it’s classified as acid reflux disease.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
- Hiatal Hernia (A stomach abnormality which effects the muscle separating the stomach from the chest, and allows stomach acid into the esophagus.)
- Eating a large meal.
- Lying down too soon after a meal.
- Foods such as: citrus, mint, tomato, garlic, chocolate & onions.
- Drinks such as: alcohol, soda, tea & coffee.
- Aspirin & Ibuprofen
- Heartburn | Chest Pain
- Increased heartburn while sleeping/resting or after a large meal.
- A bitter taste caused by stomach acid escaping into the esophagus and the back of the throat.
- Hoarseness caused by irritation of the vocal boards from exposure to stomach acid.
- Sore Throat
- Extra Saliva
- Difficulty Swallowing
Heartburn and acid reflux are persistent problems for many drivers. Aside from treating TUMS like they’ve got their own food group, there isn’t much that can be done to stop it – until now.
A tiny magnetic bracelet (known as the Linx Device) which can be implanted at the throat’s base is now available to the masses. This solution is much different than treating the issue with medications such as Prilosec or Nexuim – which just reduce acid. The magnetic bracelet actually helps the weak muscle to keep out stomach acid.
So, what is it exactly? The Linx Device is a small titanium beaded ring. Tiny magnets are housed inside of the beads, which are placed around the weak muscle at the base of the throat. The operation is reported to be only a half hour long, with a short recovery due to the fact that the device is inserted using only a scope into small “keyhole” incisions in the abdomen.
The device reinforces the weak muscle, keeping acid in – but is flexible enough to allow food in when the patient swallows. The ring comes in a few different sizes and is able to expand 1.5 inches. – The patient will not feel the Linx Device, once it has been planted. The device itself costs $5,000 however, the procedure can range anywhere from $12,000 – $20,000 (depending upon the hospital).
The Linx Device is available in 24 states thus far.