When we eat, food enters stomach through the esophagus. After food enters into the stomach, lower esophageal sphincter contracts as a result food do not go back into the food pipe. The condition when the sphincter fails to contract and content of stomach move backward into the esophagus is called gastroesophageal reflux disease. The reflux is acidic that results in irritation of esophagus and heartburn.
GERD (GastroEsophageal reflux Disease) commonly found in ?
GERD occurs in all age groups. Its incidence increases after 40 years of age. It is equally common in males and females.
What Causes GERD?
• Hiatus hernia
• Delayed emptying of the stomach
• Eating habits: having large meals or eating soon before sleeping
• Certain drugs like antihistamines, calcium channel blockers etc
What Does It Feel Like If You Have GERD?
• Heartburn: A burning sensation in your chest, sometimes spreading to the throat, along with a sour taste in your mouth
• Chest pain: pain is often worse after meals and may last for a couple of hours.
• Dysphagia (Difficulty swallowing)
• Dry cough, hoarseness of voice
• Occasionally, nausea
• Regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflux)
• Common symptoms in children include vomiting and respiratory problems
Investigations for GERD
Diagnosis of GERD is done symptomatically mostly. However, the following tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis.
• Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
• Esophageal Acid Testing
• Esophageal Motility Testing
• Biopsy of esophagus
How Do You Get Rid Of GERD?
• Medications include Antacids, Histamine antagonists, Proton pump inhibitors (PPI), Pro-motility Drugs and Foam Barriers.
• Surgery is done if medications fail to relieve symptoms.
Prognosis of GERD (Gastro-Esophageal-reflux Disease)
Prognosis is good with changes in lifestyle and taking proper medications.
Complications of GERD (Gastro-Esophageal-reflux Disease)
• Barrett’s esophagus
• Esophageal cancer
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