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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): All you must know

About

Acid or bile discharge and retraction into the lining of the food pipe

Gastroesophageal reflux disease presents highly common symptoms, with as high as 50% of the American population suspected to be suffering with it.[1]

1. Affects lower esophageal sphincter(LES)
2. Characterized by heartburn and acid indigestion

The digestive disease caused due to retreating of acidic juices, bile and or even food, in the lower parts of the esophagus (food pipe) is termed as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). As a result, acid secretions of the stomach often flow back into the food passage and can ascend as high as till the mouth opening.

Causes

● Acid reflux is the main cause of GERD
● The unusual weakening or abnormal functioning of the sphincter muscle of the esophagus results in the backward entry of food or bile towards food pipe, throat or mouth
● This becomes the primary reason for the causative reflux of GERD
● The irritation due to such acidic reflux can also result in inflammation of the esophagus, further worsening the condition
● Another, the indirect cause of GERD can be attributed to a hiatal hernia - the moving up of the stomach into the chest, through a diaphragmatic hernia

Symptoms

Self-diagnosis: GERD presents itself in the form of some very direct signs such as:
● Heartburn, especially post meals
● Chest pains
● Difficulty in swallowing
● Food regurgitation and lumpy sensation in the throat

Patients might suffer: Acid reflux at night-time might be associated with a cough, laryngitis, induced or aggravated asthma resulting in disturbed or sleep or even deprivation.

Treatment

Self-care: Patients must be careful about some factors when dealing with chronic gastric malfunctioning
● Dietary and lifestyle modifications are the primary step towards treatment
● Avoiding acidic or fatty foods, alcoholic or caffeine-rich beverages is suggested

Medication: Antacids and H2 suppressants, both prescription and over-the-counter are recommended

Specialist: As the symptoms of GERD are overlapping with certain other conditions such as heartburn or a heart attack, consultation before self-diagnosis is necessary. Visit us at mfine for assistance!

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