GERD, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, GERD
GERD is a condition which occurs when there is returning back of the acid produced in the stomach back into the esophagus which results in the damaging of inner lining.
There are a lot of people who experience acid regurgitation on weekly basis and that doesn’t require any heavy mediations. However, there are peoples who have severe degree of reflux and require medications as week as surgery.
The clinical presentation of patient would be
- Back flow of food and sour liquids
- Feeling of mass/lump in the neck
- Heartburn; a feeling of burning in the chest which become worse when lying or in the night.
- Painful swallowing
- Interrupted sleep
- Worsening asthma
- Abnormal and weakened lower esophageal sphincter
- Allowing acid to be pushed backward
- Continuous backlash of acid irritates the lining of swallowing tube resulting in chronic burning sensation.
- Lower esophageal sphincter constricts in size due to the formation of scar tissue making it difficult to swallow
- Metaplastic changes a result in the formation of Barrett’s esophagus
- Esophageal ulcer may result in perforation.
- Upper endoscopy: by inserting an endoscope inner lining of esophagus and stomach can be seen and tissue for biopsy can be collected
- Ambulatory acid (pH) probe test: a catheter is passed from nose to stomach to detect the duration and timing of regurgitation.
- Esophageal manometry. It detects the power and coordination in the muscle’s of esophagus during swallowing
- X-ray of your upper digestive system: chalky white liquid and barium pill is swallowed before x-ray to see the silhouette of stomach intestine and esophagus.
- Antacids such and tums, Rolaids are over the counter medication for neutralization of acids
- H2 receptor blocker like omeprazole inhibit the release of acid in stimulation of food.
- Cimetidine, nizatidine reduces the release of acid.
- Fundoplication, LINX device, Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) are some surgical procedure considered to treat acid regurgitation.
- Keeping your head above the level of your feet’s help to minimize the episode of acute pain at night.
- Maintain a normal BMI is a key to be safe from these episodes of regurgitation.
- Limiting the use of alcohol, smoking and spices intake.
- Don’t go to bed just after eating
- Eat properly. Chew every bite.
- There are some herbal medicines like Licorice and chamomile which prove effective against acid reflux
- Different therapies are there to relax and calm yourself to control reflux such as progressive muscle relaxation therapy.