P: (337) 232-6697

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, gastric reflux disease, acid reflux disease, or reflux. GERD results in chronic mucosal damage which causes stomach acid to come up from the stomach into the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, GERD, is a digestive disorder affecting the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach.

Symptoms of GERD

  • Sore throat If acid flows up, it can irritate the throat and airways. This may cause you to constantly feel like you need to clear your throat.
  • Dyspepsia, or indigestion, causes mild to severe stomach pain. This most often occurs after meals.
  • Chronic dry cough This happens a lot at night, it’s usually an unexplained or constant cough when lying down.
  • Hoarse voice You may notice that it’s difficult to swallowing and feeling like food is stuck in your throat. This leads to a hoarse voice and sore throat.
  • Breathing issues
  • Regurgitation
  • Excessive salivation
  • Bad breath
  • Chest pain
  • A failure to thrive

These symptoms occur when LES is weak. It opens enough to let food pass into the stomach, but may not always close properly. Food and acidic stomach juices return to the esophagus.

Causes of GERD

Low stomach acid may contribute to GERD. Stomach acid is needed to break down the food for easier digestion.
  • Food allergies
  • Constipation
  • Stress and lifestyle.
  • Eating too quickly.
  • A weak lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) high pressure zone. This part of your body acts as a valve, keeping food from traveling backwards from your stomach to your esophagus. This valve may be damaged.

When should you see a doctor about GERD?

  • When you expel gas (burp) and it’s uncomfortable
  • If you take an over the counter antacid at least twice a week
  • If you’ve had to alter your diet
  • When you need to sleep propped up in your bed
  • When it affects your quality of life
  • If you're unable to eat certain foods due to symptoms after eating
  • If you're unable to eat at all

Heartburn. That burning feeling in your lower chest when you eat something that you know you shouldn’t have. And then the next part that usually comes with it, acid reflux, burping or belching. There’s an awful taste in your mouth and throat that can last just a few minutes or hours.

Heartburn is a condition of stomach acids backing up into the esophagus. You can avoid heartburn if you stay away from the top 10 heartburn foods.

Treatment Options for GERD

Changes in lifestyle

Get in shape. Make sure that your BMI is where it needs to be. By having extra weight, you’re placing pressure on your stomach, which pushes some acid up to your esophagus. Talk with a doctor about appropriate and safe weight loss.

Wear loose clothing. Clothes that are tight can constrict your waist, causing pressure on your stomach. Loose clothing can help with this problem.

Stay up. When you’re done eating, don’t lay down. This usually leads to GERD. Instead, stay up for a while after eating. This may mean a few hours.

Eat less. When you eat less, it will help to lose weight, but also requires your stomach to produce limited amounts of acid. Less acid is better for your stomach and there is less to get up to your esophagus.

Quit smoking. Acid reflux can be caused by smoking, as can a plethora of other problems. Take it easy on your body and give those cigarettes up.

Balance acid levels. Some acid is okay, but stay away from foods like the top 10 foods that cause heartburn.

Change your diet. By changing what you eat and how much you eat will affect the amount of acid reflux that you deal with.

Take Vitamin D. This will help your esophagus from being destroyed by stomach acids. Spend more time in the sun to get Vitamin D, but consider taking Vitamin D supplements.

Get more exercise - This is the solution for so many problems that we have. This will certainly help to eliminate GERD. Exercise helps your heart pump more oxygen-rich blood, more oxygen means better functioning organs.

STRETTA

Surgery

A GERD surgery is a surgery that helps strengthen the muscles of LES. LES connects your stomach and esophagus, which helps to prevent the backing up of acid.