GERD: Symptoms, causes, and treatment

We include products we think are utilitarian for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a little mission. here ’ s our process. Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ) is a long-run condition where acerb from the stomach comes up into the esophagus.

many people occasionally experience gastroesophageal ebb ( GER ). however, if an individual experiences haunting acid ebb that occurs more than doubly a week, they may be diagnosed with GERD. In other words, GERD is the long-run, regular occurrence of GER. This page covers information about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of GERD .

What is GERD?

GERD diagram contribution on PinterestIf the sphincter at the top of the stomach does not close properly, stomach contents can flow upward. Gastroesophageal ebb disease is a circumstance where stomach acid persistently and regularly flows up into the esophagus. The esophagus may besides be referred to as the food pipe or esophagus and is the tube that transports food from the mouth to the stomach. The acid in the esophagus causes heartburn and other symptoms, adenine well as potential tissue damage. The american College of Gastroenterology says that at least 15 million Americans, or 20 percentage of the american population, experience heartburn every day.

Causes

episodic acid reflux is quite common, frequently occurring as a result of gorge, lying down after eating, or eating especial foods. however, perennial acid reflux, diagnosed as GERD, typically has other causes and gamble factors and can have more dangerous complications. Gastroesophageal ebb disease occurs in people of all ages, and sometimes for stranger reasons. In short, GERD occurs when the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus becomes weak, or opens when it should not. GERD occurs more normally in people who are :

  • overweight or obese because of increased pressure on the abdomen
  • pregnant, due to the same increased pressure
  • taking certain medications, including some asthma medications, calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, sedatives, and antidepressants
  • smoking, and being exposed to second-hand smoke

Hiatal hernia is a condition where an opening in the diaphragm lets the lead of the stomach move up into the thorax. This lowers the pressure in the esophageal sphincter and raises the risk of GERD .

Symptoms

share on PinterestThe main symptom of GERD is heartburn. The main symptom of GERD is heartburn. Heartburn is discomfort felt behind the sternum as a burning ace. It tends to get worse if the person lies down or bends over, and besides after eating food. however, not all people with GERD experience heartburn, and there are other potential symptoms :

  • nausea or vomiting
  • bad breath
  • respiratory problems
  • difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • decay

Complications

GERD can worsen and turn into early conditions if left untreated. These include :

  • Esophagitis: This is an inflammation of the esophagus.
  • Esophageal stricture: In this condition, the esophagus becomes narrow, making it difficult to swallow.
  • Barrett’s esophagus: The cells lining the esophagus can change into cells similar to the lining of the intestine. This can develop into cancer.
  • Respiratory problems: It is possible to breathe stomach acid into the lungs, which can cause a range of problems including chest congestion, hoarseness, asthma, laryngitis, and pneumonia.

Diagnosis

Anyone who is experiencing frequent acidic ebb symptoms should talk to their doctor, who may refer them to a specialist in intestine medicine known as a gastroenterologist for foster investigation. There are several possible tests to diagnose GERD, including :

  • Esophageal pH and impedance monitoring: This measures the amount of acid in the esophagus while the body is in different states, such as while eating or sleeping.
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscope: This is a tube with a camera attached, which is used to inspect the esophagus. A small sample of tissue may also be taken at the same time in a biopsy.
  • Upper GI series: This is a type of X-ray that shows up certain physical abnormalities that might cause GERD.
  • Esophageal manometry: This measures muscle contractions in the esophagus during swallowing. It can measure the strength of the sphincter.
  • Bravo wireless esophageal pH monitoring: In this test, a small temporary capsule is attached to the esophagus. This measures the acidity continuously for around 48 hours.

Treatment

GERD will much be treated with medications before attempting early lines of discussion. Proton pump inhibitors are one of the main pharmaceutical treatment options for people with GERD. They decrease the amount of acidic produced by the digest. other options include :

  • H2 blockers: These are another option to help decrease acid production.
  • Antacids: These counteract the acid in the stomach with alkaline chemicals. Side effects can include diarrhea and constipation. Antacids are available to purchase online.
  • Prokinetics: These help the stomach empty faster. Side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and anxiety.
  • Erythromycin: Ths is a type of antibiotic that also helps empty the stomach.

Surgical options

If life style changes do not significantly improve the symptoms of GERD, or medications do not have the coveted effect, a gastroenterologist may recommend surgery. surgical treatments include :

  • Fundoplication: The surgeon sews the top of the stomach around the esophagus. This adds pressure to the lower end of the esophagus and is generally successful at reducing reflux.
  • Endoscopic procedures: This is a range of procedures include endoscopic sewing, which uses stitches to tighten the sphincter muscle, and radiofrequency, which uses heat to produce small burns that help tighten the sphincter muscle.

Prevention

other life style and demeanor changes can help relieve GERD include :

  • Eat moderate amounts of food and avoid overeating.
  • Stop eating 2 to 3 hours before sleeping.
  • Quit or avoid smoking.
  • If a person is overweight, losing weight can help prevent symptoms.
  • Do not wear clothing that is tight around the abdomen.
  • Sleep at a slight angle with the head slightly elevated.

Diet

Certain foods may trigger GERD symptoms in some people.

These include :

  • greasy foods
  • spicy foods
  • chocolate
  • peppermint
  • coffee
  • foods containing tomato products
  • alcoholic drinks

If you are avoiding these types of food and however experience regular heartburn, it is significant to visit a doctor as there may be other underlying issues causing the symptoms .

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