Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a condition that occurs when the contents of the stomach are regurgitated back up into the esophagus. This can happen either because the stomach is producing too much acid, or because the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which acts as a valve between the stomach and esophagus, is not functioning properly.
Symptoms of GERD
The main symptom of GERD is heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest or throat. Other symptoms may include:
- Difficulty swallowing
If you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may have GERD:
Heartburn: is a common symptom of this disease. It causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat that can be worse when you lie down or bend over. The pain may come and go, but it is often worse after eating.
Regurgitation: This is when stomach acid or food rises up into the throat or mouth.
Difficulty swallowing: You may feel like food is stuck in your throat or chest. This may happen when you eat too quickly or eat large meals.
Coughing: Coughing is a common symptom of GERD, especially at night. The cough may be worse when you are lying down.
Other symptoms: Other less common symptoms of GERD include bad breath, hoarseness, chest pain, and wheezing.
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What is the main cause of GERD?
There are a few different things that can cause GERD, but the most common is a condition called “reflux.” Reflux happens when stomach contents come back up into the esophagus (This can happen because the valve between the esophagus and stomach doesn’t work properly.
GERD can also be caused by other conditions, such as a hiatal hernia.
Who are at risk for GERD?
There are many factors that contribute to GERD, and different people may be at greater risk depending on their individual circumstances which include:
-Being overweight or obese
-Eating certain foods that trigger acid reflux, such as fatty or fried foods, chocolate, coffee, tea, soda, or alcohol
-Having a hiatal hernia
-Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, or a history of head injury or peptic ulcer disease
If you think you may be at risk for GERD, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if you have GERD and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Treatment options for GERD
There are many different treatment options for GERD. Some of the most common include lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers like fatty or spicy foods and eating smaller meals more often. Medications can also be very effective in treating symptoms and preventing further damage to the esophagus. Surgery is usually only recommended in severe cases that do not respond to other treatments.
If you have GERD, it is important to work with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you. With the right treatment, you can relieve your symptoms and prevent further damage to your esophagus.
Consult a gastroenterologist to treat your GERD
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