The holiday season has arrived!
Fried turkey, rice dressing and gumbo...oh my! The holiday season is here. While that means great food and football, for six out of 10 adults, that also means heartburn season is here.
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition in which the contents of the stomach reflux (flow backwards) into the esophagus. The most common symptom of this condition is heartburn, but the symptoms can also include chest pain, difficulty swallowing, the sensation of a lump in your throat, regurgitation of food or a sour, acid taste in your mouth. Less common symptoms are chronic cough, laryngitis, disrupted sleep and new or worsening asthma.
Should I talk to my doctor?
When to seek care is the question most people have. Typically, it is recommended to seek out care if you are requiring over-the-counter acid reflux medications more than twice a week. Schedule an appointment with the Gastro Clinic.
Treatment options for GERD
There are several options for treatment of GERD that include medications, Stretta and a surgery called a Nissen fundoplication.
The important thing to remember is the problem with acid reflux is not acid. Your stomach makes acid to help you break down the foods you eat. The medications address the acid by reducing its levels in your stomach. You still reflux, but the symptoms are just masked.
The lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, is a muscular valve at the bottom of the esophagus that functions mostly as a one-way valve. In patients with GERD it becomes a two-way valve, allowing stomach contents to reflux into the esophagus.
How is Stretta different?
Stretta addresses the root problem of GERD, which is the LES. Stretta is an outpatient procedure that requires sedation but is incisionless. A catheter is introduced into the mouth and advanced to the LES, where it delivers radiofrequency energy. This results in remodeling and strengthening of the muscle, restoring the LES function as a mostly one-way valve.
Studies show that Stretta resolves reflux symptoms and improves quality of life. Patients are able to live symptom-free without relying on medications. There have been more than 40 clinical studies concluding that Stretta is a safe and effective therapy with results lasting between four and 10 years.
So, if the holiday season has you feeling the burn, call (337) 232-6697 to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you kick your GERD symptoms to the curb!