Gastroesophageal Reflux: Everything To Know
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder, where stomach acid or bile irritate the oesophageal lining.
Anyone, including infants and children, can have GERD.
- Conditions that increase the risk - obesity, hiatal hernia, pregnancy, scleroderma, and delayed stomach emptying
- Requires upper endoscopy, ambulatory acid (pH) test, esophageal manometry and X-ray of the upper digestive system
- Affects all ages—infants to older adults
- Both sexes
GERD or Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) occurs when frequent and prolonged stomach acids flow back (reflux) into the esophagus which is a tube connecting the mouth and the stomach. Over time, this acid reflux can irritate the lining of the esophagus. It’s important to note that under normal conditions, mild acid reflux occurs at least twice a week. Also, moderate to severe acid reflux occurs at least once a week. Anything more than this warrants medical attention.
Difficulty swallowing and regurgitation of food or sour liquid.
People may experience:
Heartburn usually after eating, which might worsen at night. Chest pain and sensation of a lump in the throat. At night time acid reflux may cause a chronic cough, laryngitis, new or worsening asthma and disrupted sleep.
Self-care: Lifestyle changes - quit smoking, eating large meals or eating late at night, eating certain foods (triggers) such as fatty or fried foods, drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee and taking certain medications, such as aspirin.
Medications: Over-the-counter medications like antacids and H-2-receptor blockers are prescribed. Also, medications such as roton pump inhibitors block acid production, thereby healing the oesophagus.
Specialists: For other kinds, consult a physician or a gastroenterologist. At mfine we’re here to help you with different areas of health issues, come on board for a holistic treatment program.