Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that ensues when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach, called oesophagus. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the oesophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn.
When a valve at the top of the stomach doesn’t function well, acid enters your oesophagus, causing irritation. This is called gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. Some GERD causes include:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms could be any of the following:
Our gastroenterology specialist does a physical examination and records the history of your signs and symptoms.
The following tests may be carried out to investigate the problem:
Consult a Gastroesophageal reflux disease specialist at Medcare to get the best gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment for your condition. Initially, our experts may recommend lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter medicines like antacids.
However, if the condition does not improve in a few weeks, then medication and surgery would be explored, such as fundoplication which is a laparoscopic procedure that tightens the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle and prevents reflux.
A: A heartburn really is acid indigestion which is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). There is a burning sensation behind the breastbone, that moves upward to the neck and throat.
You may mistake heartburn for the pain one experiences during a heart attack; and since it’s tricky to distinguish between the two, you must see your doctor immediately.
A: An endoscope is a small lighted tube with a tiny video camera at the end. By inserting this into your oesophagus, your doctor can view the swelling or irritation of the tissue lining in the oesophagus and suggest appropriate treatment.
A: Avoid foods like peppermint, fatty foods, coffee, chocolate and alcohol that relax the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) – which allows the acid from the stomach to move upwards. Some citrus fruits, tomato and pepper irritate the already-bruised oesophageal lining so should not be included in a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) diet.
A: Yes, there are some lifestyle changes you should adopt to control your GERD. Keep your weight under control and eat smaller meals. Sleep only two to three hours after you eat dinner. Keep your head at an elevation when you go to bed. Avoid those foods that trigger heartburn for you. Avoid wearing tight clothing around your abdomen, and consume alcohol in moderation.