GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux):- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a common condition in which stomach acid often leaks up into the esophagus. This condition can damage the cells of the esophagus, throat, and airways. The condition can affect anyone, but is generally seen in people who are pregnant or have gastrointestinal problems. The condition can cause heartburn, belching, chest pain, and other symptoms.
This condition can diagnosed through various tests. Your doctor will then create a treatment plan based on the cause of your GERD. The treatment plan usually consists of medications to relieve your symptoms. However, if there is no improvement in symptoms, your doctor may even recommend surgery to control acid reflux. GERD is not a life-threatening condition, but it can affect the patient’s lifestyle and thus affect their work and relationships. This condition can easily managed through medication and lifestyle changes.
GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux)
GERD is a condition in which the sphincter muscle between the stomach and esophagus does not work properly. This allows some of the food and acid to enter the esophagus. This can damage the tissues of the esophagus, throat and airways. However, if the symptoms occur more frequently, the diagnosis of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) can made. This condition can recognized by the patient’s symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, nausea, chronic cough and hoarse voice.
The condition is diagnosed through various diagnostic tests to look for the cause of the condition. The condition can managed through medication and lifestyle changes, but some patients may need surgery to manage their symptoms. If GERD is left untreated for a long period of time, various complications such as esophagitis, esophageal stricture, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer can occur. The following article covers all the details about GERD like symptoms, causes, diagnostic methods, treatment protocols and preventive measures.
GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) Details
|GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux)
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Symptoms of GERD
There are many symptoms of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) that make it easy to spot. The most common and characteristic symptom of GERD is heartburn. Below are some of the most common symptoms of the disease.
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Chronic cough
- Pain in your upper abdomen
- Inflammation in your vocal cords
- Onset of asthma in adults or worsening of it
- Feeling of a lump in your throat
These symptoms can occur at any time of the day after a meal, but are generally more common at night or when lying down.
Causes And Risk Factors Of GERD
The main cause of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) is a dysfunction of the sphincter muscle, which prevents the backflow of food into the esophagus. This sphincter can open when not needed, allowing acid and food to flow into the esophagus, damaging the tissues. There are many more causes and risk factors that have been identified associated with GERD. These can lead to the appearance of GERD symptoms. These factors are listed below.
This is a condition where the stomach moves towards the chest. If the diaphragm is affected, the sphincter muscle in your esophagus may also affected and not able to function properly.
Frequent overeating of any type of food can cause your esophageal sphincter to malfunction, allowing food and acid to enter your esophagus.
Lying Down Right After A Meal
If you lie down right after eating, there’s a chance it’ll go back up your esophagus.
Obese people tend to have weak muscles, which means the sphincter muscle in their esophagus can also become weak and unable to function properly.
GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) is common in pregnancy because the growing fetus can put pressure on the stomach, which can cause the sphincter to open and stomach contents to move up.
Smoking And Drinking Alcohol
Chronic smoking and drinking alcohol can also cause the muscles in your esophagus to weaken, which can cause the sphincter muscle to become weak and unable to close properly. This can cause acid and food to back up into your esophagus.
Chronic use of many medications such as NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can also lead to the onset of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux). The use of illegal drugs such as cocaine can also lead to esophageal incoordination.
GERD has been linked to various mental illnesses, but anxiety can lead to more frequent GERD episodes. Severe anxiety attacks can lead to an increase in the frequency of GERD episodes.
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Diagnosis of GERD
There are many methods available which can help in the diagnosis of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux). The most commonly used methods are given below.
Ambulatory Acid Probe Test
With this test, a small monitor is inserted into your esophagus to monitor how much acid is entering your esophagus and how long it is staying there. This test is monitored 24 hours a day and is considered the gold standard for diagnosing GERD.
This test is performed by inserting an endoscope into your esophagus to look for signs of inflammation and other complications. A tissue sample taken with this procedure can examined for any complications.
rays are done when a person has trouble swallowing. X-ray is done after you drink a chalky barium liquid to see the silhouette of the lining of the esophagus and stomach.
This procedure measures the rhythmic contractions of your esophagus after you swallow. This allows you to measure and recognize the coordination and strength of the muscles in your esophagus.
Transnasal esophagoscopy-In this procedure, the endoscope is inserted through your nose and move down your esophagus to take a look at your esophagus.
Treatment Of GERD
The symptoms of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) can treated through various medications and surgical procedures. The most commonly used drugs and surgeries are listed below.
Most drugs used to treat GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) are available over the counter, but higher doses of the drugs are only available by prescription.
These drugs can bought over the counter and by prescription. These drugs work by neutralizing the excess acid in the stomach, thereby preventing the symptoms of heartburn.
H2 Receptor Blockers
These drugs work by decreasing the production of acid in your stomach. These may include famotidine and nizatidine, which are available by prescription, and some lower-dose drugs can purchase over the counter.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
These drugs also reduce acid production, but are more effective than H2 blockers and also promote healing of the lining of the esophagus. These drugs can bought over the counter and by prescription. These drugs usually include esomeprazole, omeprazole, rabeprazole, and pantoprazole.
If the symptoms of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) cannot manage with medication, your doctor may recommend the following surgical procedures to help manage your condition.
During this procedure, the surgeon wraps the lower part of your stomach around the bottom of your esophagus to tighten the sphincter muscle and prevent acid reflux. This is a minimally invasive procedure and can perform without complications.
This procedure uses a tiny ring of magnetic beads to wrap around the bottom of your esophagus. The magnetic attraction of the beads tightens the sphincter and prevents acid reflux. This procedure is also a minimally invasive procedure and the beads have no side effects for the patient.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)
This procedure is a new technique that involves wrapping the lower part of the esophagus using polypropylene closures. This procedure does not require an incision and is perform through the mouth with an endoscope.
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Prevention of GERD
There are many ways to prevent GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) from occurring. The following methods have been shown to effective in preventing GERD.
Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight to avoid weakening the esophageal muscles.
Eat Small Quantities
Always be careful not to overeat and eat your food in small portions. This can prevent the symptoms of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux).
Reduce fats in your diet
Fats can increase your existing GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) symptoms and also lead to the appearance of these symptoms. You should reduce butter, salad dressings, fatty meats, and high-fat dairy products.
Maintain a good posture while eating
You should always sit up straight when eating to avoid any pressure on your stomach, which can cause food to back up into the esophagus.
Avoid eating before bedtime
When a patient is lying down, their GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) symptoms typically become more severe at night. You ought to try not to eat any feasts something like 3 hours before you fall asleep. Additionally, always bring a pillow with you to keep your head elevate and prevent reflux.
Smoking can bother your throat and can likewise debilitate the sphincters of your throat. Smoking cessation can delay the onset of your GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) symptoms.
Avoid foods which trigger your GERD
If you notice that you have GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) after eating certain foods, you should avoid those foods to avoid experiencing symptoms.
Complications of GERD
GERD prompts no perilous side effects except for in the event that it is left untreat for a really long time, it can prompt extreme confusions in the patients. The following is a list of GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) complications.
This condition is characterize by oesophageal inflammation cause by GERD damage over time.
This condition occurs when the oesophagus narrows as a result of repeat damage and tissue healing.
This is a serious problem that happens when GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) keeps happening over time. Your oesophagus’s lining is permanently and irreversibly damage in this condition.
This is a rare complication and occurs in only a small portion of people who have Barrett’s oesophagus.
GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux) FAQ’S
Is GERD a serious condition?
In and of itself, GERD is not dangerous or life-threatening. However, chronic GERD can result in more serious health issues: Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the aggravation and irritation the stomach corrosive causes in the covering of the throat.
Can GERD patients live long lives?
Although GERD can disrupt your life in painful ways, it won’t necessarily shorten your lifespan. The individuals who can deal with their side effects successfully will have a better and worked on personal satisfaction. Some people may benefit more from some treatments than others.
Might you at any point carry on with a long existence with GERD?
Dr. Chandra said that once a determination of GERD has been laid out, it might turn into a deep rooted condition that will require the board. She went on to say that it’s best to figure out what’s causing your symptoms and learn how to avoid or control those things to get rid of or even stop them. Dr.