Gastroesophageal reflux disease is characterized by persistent indigestion that affects approximately 20% of U.S. citizens. Everybody suffers occasional stomach acid reflux, but these bouts are typically short and rare. Once these bouts occur repeatedly, the acid could cause persistent symptoms and harm the esophagus lining. Luckily, numerous patients with minor, occasional reflux symptoms can effectively address their concerns with dietary and lifestyle modifications alone. Nonetheless, persons with mild to serious Frisco GERD might require medication to address their concerns. Continue reading to learn everything you should know about GERD.
What Exactly Is GERD?
As you swallow, your stomach secretes acid to aid digestion. For healthy persons, an esophageal valve allows acid and food to travel from the esophagus to the stomach. For GERD patients, however, acids could go back up the esophagus if the valve fails or opens unnecessarily often. If this condition occurs frequently, the esophageal lining might become inflamed and damaged.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms?
Although everybody will probably have heartburn occasionally, those with GERD probably endure persistent or chronic heartburn. As for the symptoms to look out for, everyone is unique. Aside from acid reflux and heartburn, other common symptoms include:
- Swallowing difficulties
- Sore throat
- Gum swelling
- Persistent foul breath
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
When To Visit Your Gastroenterologist About GERD-Related Concerns?
There is no standard recommendation of when to see a gastroenterologist for your GERD-related concerns. Nonetheless, you should contact your physician if you experience repeated or chronic heartburns, worsening symptoms, or if the heartburn disrupts your sleep quality.
What Are The Typical GERD Complications?
GERD could result in complications such as ulcers, esophagitis, and even cancer of the esophagus. Occasionally, this condition can also lead to Barrett’s esophagus, a disorder where the esophagus lining changes, increasing cancer risk. GERD might also prompt dysphagia or trouble swallowing.
Is GERD Avoidable?
You can avoid developing GERD and associated complications by making several dietary and lifestyle modifications. Some measures you should take include:
- Taking a healthy diet and avoiding greasy and acidic foods
- Lose weight; for obese or overweight persons
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Stop smoking
- Avoiding lying down right after a meal
- Avoid consuming huge meal portions; eat in bits
What Are The Treatment Options For GERD?
Lifestyle modifications are the first care resort for GERD and are frequently effective at managing symptoms. Medication, such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, and antacids, could also be recommended to lower stomach acid.
In some instances, though, surgery is appropriate. Typically, surgery is only advised for patients with GERD that fail to find relief in previous treatments or have problems such as esophageal ulcers or Barrett’s esophagus.
Do not disregard your acid reflux concerns, particularly if you experience symptoms frequently, such as twice every week. Otherwise, you risk more serious GI concerns in the future. At The Bariatric Experts, Dr. Scott Stowers will take time to examine your concerns and determine whether they stem from GERD or other minor concerns like heartburn. Arrange an appointment through mobile or book online to discuss your concerns and explore your care options today.