Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

The most common chronic disease that is met by gastroenterologists is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition occurs when stomach content flows back into the food pipe. GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease appears usually due to a disorder between the esophagus and stomach. In this document, we will talk about GERD symptoms, causes, and treatment options available.

Symptoms of GERD

Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of this health condition. This symptom usually lasts over 2 hours and then may worsen. You can take an antacid medicine and stay straight to lessen heartburn. Check below for other symptoms of GERD:

  • Vomiting
  • Sense of formation of a lump in the throat
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Swallowing problems
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Excessive burping

Causes of GERD

There are many factors that can provoke this health condition. However, the exact cause of GERD is not confirmed yet. Check below some examples that may worsen GERD:

  • Do not eat heavy meals, especially before bedtime
  • Avoid these products including garlic, onions, tomatoes, chocolate, fried food, caffeine, and citrus fruits.
  • Try to lose weight if you are overweight
  • Misuse of alcoholic beverages
  • Medicines (such as Aspirin, Theophylline, Antihistamines, Nitrates, and others)
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Smoking

How to Diagnose GERD?

Several ways are directed by a healthcare provider to diagnose GERD. Examples include:

  • An X-ray of The upper Digestive System is used to determine if the esophagus has narrowed. Before this test, you should drink a thick barium solution.
  • Esophageal Manometry helps to detect disorders of the esophagus with pressure and movement. It assesses the muscle coordination and strength of the food pipe.
  • Ambulatory Acid Probe Test can be used by a doctor to treat acid reflux conditions. In this test, a small and thin tube goes into the esophagus and creates a link between mouth and stomach. This type of test is usually used to measure the amount of acid that backflows from the stomach during 24 hours.
  • Upper Endoscopy – A thin and flexible tube is inserted down your throat. This tube has a light and camera that help a doctor to see the inside of the stomach and esophagus.

Treatment Options

In mild cases, are used over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. For example:

  • Antacids are commonly used to treat GERD. It helps to neutralize the amount of acid and provides quick relief.
  • 2H2 Blockers help to decrease the amount of acid in the stomach. However, this category of drugs does not give quick relief but the effect will last roughly 12 hours.

Healthcare providers usually direct these medicines to relieve heartburn after meals. In any case, an increased dose needs a physician’s prescription. Additionally, Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are very effective medicines in decreasing the acid in the stomach. PPIs help to lessen the symptoms and esophagus heal.


Fundoplication is a laparoscopic surgery that wraps the top section of your stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). It decreases acid reflux. This surgery keeps under control the acid reflux more than other GERD treatments.

Additionally, another modern alternative for GERD is the LINX Device. The surgeon places a small magnetic titanium ring around the junction where the esophagus connects with the stomach. Therefore, it closes that region when food is not present.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of GERD?

There are four types of this condition. Examples include:

  • Mild acid reflux
  • Moderate acid reflux
  • Severe acid reflux
  • Esophageal cancer

Is gastroesophageal reflux disease a curable condition?

In most cases, GERD is a treatable condition. The most common GERD symptoms are regurgitation and chronic heartburn. However, talk with a doctor if you experience any of the previous symptoms.

What if people ignore GERD?

If you leave this condition untreated, it may lead to permanent damage to your esophagus. For more details, discuss it with a healthcare provider.

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