Acid Reflux Treatment Maryland

Acid reflux can have an impact on your life and if left unaddressed can cause serious complications down the road. That is why our doctors at Shakthi Health and Wellness offer a range of treatments to address the issue head-on. If you suffer from acid reflux or the more severe form of acid reflux GERD please contact us and let our doctors find the right integrative treatment to help you.

Woman Suffering From Acid Reflux Or Heartburn-Isolated On White

What Is Acid Reflux? 

When one eats the food travels down from your mouth through the esophagus. This is a tooth the mouth with the stomach is about 10 inches. The food is allowed entrance into the stomach through a hole that is at the focus and once it is through the whole closes back up.

If that hole doesn’t close the food and the contents in the stomach can actually come back up through it into the esophagus. This causes irritation and several symptoms including acid reflux. Isn’t that just heartburn?

The truth is that it is not the same thing. Acid reflux is the process in which the backflow from the stomach contents comes up through the esophagus. Heartburn is a burning sensation area that is caused because of acid reflux. They are not the same things but rather one is the symptom of the other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Acid Reflux Treatment FAQ's

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.

What are some common triggers for acid reflux?

Common triggers for acid reflux include fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and carbonated beverages.

What are some lifestyle changes that can help manage acid reflux?

Lifestyle changes that can help manage acid reflux include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals more frequently, not lying down immediately after eating, and avoiding tight-fitting clothing.

What are some over-the-counter medications for acid reflux?

Over-the-counter medications for acid reflux include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

What are some prescription medications for acid reflux?

Prescription medications for acid reflux include stronger versions of antacids, H2 blockers, and PPIs, as well as prokinetic drugs and foam barriers.

How effective are acid reflux treatments?

Acid reflux treatments can be very effective, but their effectiveness varies depending on the severity of the condition and the individual patient. Some people may find relief from lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications, while others may require stronger prescription medications or surgery.

What is an Integrative Medicine Approach?

Integrative medicine combines conventional medicine and alternative therapies to enhance a patient’s vitality, focusing on whole body wellness. An Integrative Medicine physician will address the root cause of your illness and not just treat the symptoms. By determining what the root is, you and your practitioner can devise a health plan to successfully treat the disease. At Shakthi, we take into account other factors in your life that may be preventing the root cause of your illness or disease from fully healing. We work closely with our patients to address their immediate health needs while developing a personalized wellness plan that encourages whole body wellness. You can learn more here.

What are the benefits of integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine’s biggest benefit is the fact it looks at the patient as a whole individual and addresses the root causes of illnesses by doing so. I went along with this though integrative medicine promotes a symbiotic and collaborative relationship between the doctor and the patient. This means that there is better communication. Another great benefit is that it utilizes every therapy possible to ensure that the patient gets the treatment that is perfect for them.


Where are you located?

We have two locations in Mount Airy and Elkridge Maryland.

Why is integrative medicine not covered by insurance?

Over the past decade or so, integrative medicine has been becoming more and more popular. Because of this popularity, there has been an increase in doctors that practice it. But even with all this popularity unfortunately insurance does not cover integrative health care. The lack of coverage from insurance companies is solely because integrative medicine often encompasses treatments that these health insurance companies degenerative treatments. Because these treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, infrared sauna, and many others are all deemed alternative they are not covered.

What costs are involved? 

We offer two options:
• Yearly Membership
• A La Carte

How do I make an appointment?

You can expect your first visit with Dr. Rao and our team to be more comprehensive than anything you have ever experienced. Our practice is not a revolving door, we won't just visit with you for 5 minutes, hand you a prescription and send you on your way. You can expect the initial visit to last approximately 60 minutes. In that time, Dr. Rao will spend time with you, listen to your history, ask questions, hear your concerns. We put great emphasis on the listening and hearing part of the consult. It is vital in developing a strong doctor, patient relationship and is the only way we can help you get on the right path to healing. After your consult, we will order your testing. Depending on your specific needs a number of tests will be administered. Testing is tailored to each individual. Schedule Appointment Here.

What are five alternative medicines?

There are many different types of alternative medicines but many of them can fall under one of the five main alternative categories. These categories are homeopathy, eastern medicine, naturopathy, and Ayurveda. Within these five types so there are many variations and so choosing one that works for you all relies on what exactly you're looking to gain from choosing alternative medicines.

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What To Expect

Acid Reflux Specialists

Meet Our Doctors

Our team is composed of skilled medical professionals who are highly knowledgeable in integrative therapies to help heal and restore your gut health. 

Our Specialized Health Care model provides patients with in depth consults with each appointment without the restrictions of time limits and jumping through insurance hoops. Our gut health doctors in Maryland, Dr. Jyothi Rao and Dr. Sudhir Rao, have the same medical training, licensing, and certifications any other physician would have working in other healthcare models 

Jyothi Rao


Dr. Jyothi Rao is the founder of Shakthi Health and Wellness Center. She has over 20 years of experience with integrative, holistic, alternative, and complementary approaches to medicine. Dr. Rao believes knowledge is empowerment and focusses her practice on whole body wellness, and disease prevention

Sudhir Rao


Dr. Sudhir Rao is a board certified doctor over 20 years of experience with traditional medicine and alternative medicines for chronic pain.  he developed a strong interest in Functional and Integrative Medicine to treat chronic illness after a personal experience with limitations in traditional medicine.

Our Doctors

What Is Integrative Medicine?

What Causes Acid Reflux?

So what causes acid reflux? There are many things that can bring on acid reflux including:

  • Eating big meals
  • Being overweight
  • Eating close to bedtime
  • Certain foods including citrus, onions, or spicy food
  • Beverages including carbonated drinks and alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications like Aspirin and Ibuprofen as well as many others

If you have chronic and severe acid reflux you may be dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease otherwise known as GERD.

GERD Defined

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a more severe type of acid reflux. Oftentimes it is caused by overeating and even pregnancy. Typically if you have asked more than a couple times a week you might be suffering from this.

All of the standard causes of acid reflux also spur on GERD. However, there are some causes that are specific to GERD. Here are some of those:

  • Hiatal hernia
  • Tissue disorders like Scleroderma
  • Delaying stomach emptying

Common Symptoms of Acid Reflux & GERD

There are of course many people that experience acid reflux without any symptoms. Though this is rare it is still a possibility those that who suffer from symptoms they can range in severity very easily. Understanding these symptoms will help you work with our doctors to find the right treatment for your particular needs.

So here are some of the most common symptoms of acid reflux:


Heartburn is a pain or burning feeling that usually. Except that it can move and change in intensity at any point. Heartburn is the symptom of acid reflux that is caused due to stomach acid traveling back up through the esophagus and into the throat. This can be caused by a lot of different things including as we said large meals or certain foods. Heartburn can last a few minutes or a few hours.

The intensity of course is dependent on not only the root cause of the heartburn but also the individual. That is why when looking at this our doctors do an in-depth look at everything from diet to environmental triggers to your emotions.


Another of the most common symptoms of acid reflux is vomiting and regurgitation. When this happens it is simply the contents of the stomach and the acid within it coming up into your system and causing a bit of spit up.

This spit-up can cause some very unusual tastes to be present in the mouth. Oftentimes they are bitter or sour and can occasionally taste like food.

Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Consistent cough
  • Pain in the chest and when swallowing
  • Hoarse voice

GERD Symptoms

Just like with the causes, the symptoms of GERD are very similar to acid reflux. However, because of the severity and chronic illness of this particular disease, other symptoms can be present as well. Here are some of those:

  • Consistent sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Large amounts of saliva
  • Laryngitis
  • Cavities
  • Inflamed gums
  • Chest pain

Treatments: Traditional and Alternative

Often traditional treatments for acid reflux mirror those of alternatives in some aspects. Most often physicians suggest a change in diet and other lifestyle changes. Along with those lifestyle changes most traditional physicians are going to also suggest over-the-counter medications to help with the symptoms of acid reflux. Traditional physicians tend to start with lifestyle and diet changes. Some of these may include:

  • Make changes to the way you eat and the timing of your eating
  • Remove search from your diet like onions, citrus fruits, and spicy foods
  • Stop smoking
  • Remove alcohol from their lives
  • Add exercise to your routine

Along with those lifestyle changes they may also prescribe over-the-counter treatments. These come in three different classes:


Antacids are used to relieve heartburn which is a symptom of acid reflux. They utilize chemicals to change the stomach acid so that heartburn is reduced quickly.

H2 Blockers

Particular over-the-counter medications are designed to relieve and prevent heartburn. They work by reducing the amount of acid that the stomach actually produces and typically are effective in one to three hours after taking. However, they do interact sometimes with prescription medications, so it is best to consult your physician before beginning to take them.


Proton pump inhibitors otherwise known as PPIs are designed to relieve heartburn. They are not an immediate solution to the problem, but they can be quite effective. There are also prescription-grade PPIs that are usually utilized when treating more severe acid reflux like GERD.

At Shakti Health and Wellness we don't only advise those traditional methods of lifestyle changes but also look to alternative treatments that can also treat symptoms as well. Some of those alternative treatments include:


This ancient Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years period utilizing small needles the practitioner is focused on rebalancing the energy and its flow within the body. This rebalancing stimulates bodies’ built-in healing systems and has been known to help with several of the symptoms that can be tied to acid reflux.

Woman getting an acupuncture treatment in a spa


Typically when you hear the term melatonin you think of a sleep hormone. But the truth is that this hormone which is not only created in the pineal gland but also the intestinal tract can help reduce some of the symptoms like:

  • Epigastric pain
  • pH level
  • LES pressure


Acid reflux symptoms can be exacerbated by high levels of stress. Therefore any type of relaxation such as massage or sauna therapies can also be an alternative treatment to help reduce the symptoms of downward spiral acid reflux.


This is a treatment that is intended to help a person focus and concentrate more. Hypnotherapy has been shown to help with digestive health in particular the reduction of things like unhealthy bowel patterns, anxiety, abdominal pain, and bloating.

Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to help treat a multitude of different health issues. These health issues definitely include acid reflux as there are many different types of herbs that could help relieve the symptoms and treat acid reflux. Herbs like ginger root, marshmallow root, and chamomile have all been utilized effectively in treating all types of acid reflux.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Most of the time ask reflux is diagnosed through a look at the symptoms. But there are specific tests that can be you To ensure that acid reflux and not a sign of some other issue present. One of the most commonly used tests is a barium swallow radiograph. This is a special X-ray system that helps us take images of the esophagus. It is painless and relatively quick. It is maybe one of the best ways to actually diagnose GERD.

Of course, before any of these tests are done it will start with a physical exam. There may be a look at a food diary and your medical history and in the end, if there are some signs that this could be potentially what you're dealing with the next step will move to test. If you're dealing with a consistent issue that could potentially be GERD.

Some of those tests include:

  • Ambulatory acid probe test is a test that measures the amount of acid your stomach makes in a day.
  • The barium swallow X-ray is also used in this process as well. It is executed by the patient swallowing barium that then coats their digestive tract. This helps make taking X-rays easier and can help our doctors determine whether you're dealing with a severe case of acid reflux or GERD.
  • Another option is an endoscopy. This is where a tiny camera is attached to a thin tube and fed through your throat into your digestive tract. The camera then takes images, and the doctor can assess if there are any major issues.
  • Manometry is another option where a thin tube is threaded into your esophagus so that it can detect how your esophagus is The car wreck of our marriage working. this test is also known as the esophageal motility test.

About Us

We believe in practicing medicine that focuses on whole body health. As integrative medicine doctors we focus our on root cause of your condition with comprehensive treatments that actually heal the body rather than just masking the symptoms of your illness. 

Helpful Resources

February 28

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Anti-Inflammatory Plant Foods

December 16

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Acid Suppression leading to B12 deficiency

March 6

A New Study Supporting A Plant Based Diet

A New Study Supporting A Plant Based Diet

Digital Guide

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Patient Testimonials

Patient Testimonials

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Susan Doyle

I started by seeing Dr. Sudhir Rao for my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome. I had an accident in July 2010 that caused nerve damage in my ankle. After treatments and surgery, it spread up the entire left side of my body. The only way to describe how you feel is by saying you’re a human pinball machine ? you just never know where the pain is going to be that minute. I had asked about acupuncture because someone had told me that it worked for them. I was at the point of trying anything to lessen the pain because it was getting worse every day.

Anonymous Patient

I am actually a relatively healthy 50-year-old woman. I try to eat well and exercise, but I (like many) felt the creep of age in the form a subtle pounds and decreasing energy. Dr. Rao helped point me in the direction of the correct detox program for me (Core Restore!) as well as the supplements I needed to boost my metabolism and increase my energy! I still need to eat what works for me and avoid the things that don't, and I still have to exercise every day, but my clothes fit better and I have more energy!!

- Shakthi Patients

Anna Smoot

I came to see Dr. Rao with symptoms of chronic fatigue, abdominal pains, depression, and weight gain. I had seen a couple other doctors and they had found that I had very high inflammation levels and over 15 food allergies/sensitivities. They wanted me to just take prescription drugs, but I wanted more than a quick fix. I wanted my health and my life back! When I scheduled the appointment, I was surprised how by helpful Kelly was on the phone. I didn’t know the details of my insurance coverage and Kelly offered to call my insurance for me. I’ve never had anyone at a doctor’s office do that before.

Debbie Helman

After visiting the Shakthi website and reading other patient testimonials, I was curious about the wide variety of treatments that were available. I have a very slow metabolism, was fatigued, had insomnia, back pain, and just didn’t feel as well as I wanted to in general. I had more allergic reactions and respiratory issues in the preceding months before coming to see Dr. Jyothi Rao. I had completed three courses of prednisone while under the treatment of my traditional doctor and was fed up with that cycle and was looking for another path.

- Debbie Helman

Linda J.

I was given the gift of Dr. Rao's integrative specialty care for Christmas in 2016. I didn?t take advantage of it until March of 2017. My mindset at the time was negative. I had heard about changing eating habits and I felt that I liked the foods I was eating and I was nearly 70, so why change now? After meeting with Dr. Rao and hearing her suggestions, I said I would take it one small step at a time and see what happens.

I was in the worst shape of my life

I was in the worst shape of my life with depression and anxiety. I had given up. Shakthi provided me with a manageable plan that included supplements, diet, and an exercise program that has transformed my body and given me a new outlook on life. Perhaps the most surprising outcome was learning how to be healthy and have a good relationship with my body. I am now more productive, energetic, and focused. The fog that had been clouding my thoughts has lifted.

- Shakthi Patient

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What To Expect

How Treatment Works

Our doctors and staff take time to get invested in your health and well-being. We've taken a step back from mainstream medicine and are challenging the norm. Everyone's healthcare needs are different. You are different. We believe patients shouldn't settle. Our practice is not a revolving door. We listen, and most importantly, we hear you.


Appointments are conducted on an as-needed basis. Patients can expect appointments to be more thorough and focused on their needs. As integrative speciality care doctors, we see a limited number of patients which means each of our patients receives dedicated care without the concern of being “rushed” our of an appointment.

Diagnostic Testing

We offer patients scientifically backed health assessments to better understand the root causes of their health conditions. We evaluate any disruptions to your health and body to develop effective wellness plans to optimize your vitality. To learn more about the specific tests we offer visit this page here

Costs Involved

Patients receive personalized and tailored care in exchange for a flat fee. Overall cost will be discussed during your initial consultation. Each subsequent appointment will not need to be individually paid for. All patients receive unlimited access to their physicians which leads to better overall health and wellness.

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Contact Us

Our Locations

Our patient care coordinators are available to answer questions Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00pm.

Mt Airy

2702 Back Acre Circle

Mt. Airy, MD 21771


6816 Deerpath Rd Elkridge, MD 21075

Get In Touch!

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067



Fax #

(301) 703-8880

Fax #

(301) 703-8880

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