Must-Know Critical Information About GERD : GERD is an acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease, which occurs due to a digestive malfunction. It occurs when the top part of the stomach fails to close which is necessary for preventing reflux.
Dr. Bharat Pothuri treats digestive problems alongside a team of experts at GastroDoxs.
Causes of GERD
The leading cause of GERD is the malfunction of the sphincter, which works by closing the lower esophagus after you swallow food. When it relaxes unusually, the acid in the stomach can return to the esophagus and irritate it.
Some conditions can accelerate the risk of GERD, and therefore, when seeking treatment, your doctor first evaluates the risk factors. Hiatal Hernia is one condition that can cause GERD when the upper part of the stomach bulges into your diaphragm.
In addition, GERD can occur when digestion takes too long due to improper chewing or eating sugary, fatty, and fried food. Also, smoking and consuming alcohol and caffeinated beverages can increase the risk of GERD.
Some medications, such as aspirin, can also cause GERD and pregnancy, where the baby compresses the abdomen.
Symptoms of GERD
Lack of treatment can cause the acid to burn the soft tissues of the esophagus and make it contract. After that, you may have problems when swallowing. Also, the acid can cause stomach ulcers to bleed and hurt. Additionally, there is a risk of developing esophageal cancer due to the damage of the soft tissues.
It is essential to seek medical attention when you experience the symptoms of GERD. Your doctor uses endoscopy to have a clear view of the esophagus and diagnose the condition.
Other tests include monitoring the PH and measuring the acidity level in your esophagus. The doctor may also order an X-Ray to check the type of Hiatal Hernia and the size.
Treatment of GERD
Treatment of GERD is long-term and involves both medical intervention and a change of lifestyle.
- If you are overweight, it is essential to engage in workout activities to cut weight. Additionally, eat small portions of food at different intervals to allow for digestion and avoid drinking carbonated drinks.
- Refrain from eating spicy food, sour fruits, caffeinated drinks, and drinking alcohol. Likewise, stay away from fatty food and tobacco. Eat your meals early and avoid sleeping immediately after eating food. Wear comfortable clothes and check your posture by not leaning forward.
- For medication, your doctor may prescribe proton-pump inhibitors that are effective in minimizing GERD. However, these are short-term, and there is a risk of relapse.
- Other medications such as Cisapride can ease the discomfort by stimulating digestive motility and treating heartburn. The doctor can also prescribe antacids, alumina gels, and Gaviscon.
Surgery becomes an option when all these other methods fail. Medical and surgical treatment is essential to treat the peptic esophagus. In the absence of treatment, there is an increased risk of developing stenosis of the lower esophagus.
If you are experiencing GERD or acid reflux, it is important to seek medication to avert serious complications in the future. Book an appointment with the experts at GastroDoxs PLLC to learn more about gastroesophageal reflux disease.
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Must-Know Critical Information About GERD
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