Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder in which acidic stomach fluids or food and fluids back into the stomach’s esophagus. GERD affects people of all ages, from infants to senior citizens. Asthmatics are at a higher risk of developing GERD.

Causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Acid reflux, or the reflux of non-acid stomach material, frequently occurs and leads to GERD. A muscular band called the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes as you swallow, allowing food and drink to pass into your stomach. The sphincter then once again closes.

Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

The symptoms of GERD include, 

  • Heartburn 
  • Regurgitation 
  • The feeling of food caught in your throat 
  • Coughing 
  • Chest pain 
  • Vomiting 
  • Sore throat and hoarseness   

Prevention of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

The occurrence of GERD can be minimized or prevented by,

  • Maintaining a healthy weight 
  • Quitting smoking 
  • Elevating the head of your bed 
  • By not lying down after a meal 
  • Eating food slowly and chewing thoroughly 
  • Avoiding foods and drinks that trigger reflux (e.g., soda, tomato juice, etc.)
  • Avoiding tight-fitting clothing    

Diagnosis of GERD

Based on your medical history, signs, and symptoms, as well as a physical examination to rule out other conditions or confirm the diagnosis of GERD, your doctor may be able to determine whether you have GERD, 

  • Upper endoscopy 
  • Ambulatory acid PH probe test
  • X-ray of the upper digestive system 
  • Esophageal manometry 

Risk Factors of GERD

The risk factors of GERD include, 

  • Exposure to cigarette smokes 
  • Hiatal hernia 
  • Medication and supplements 
  • Previous bariatric surgery (eg-metabolic surgery for weight loss)

If you are suffering from GERD, it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. At Burjeel Hospital, MHPC, we offer comprehensive care for GERD. We can help you manage your condition with the help of our gastroenterology experts, who will work with you to develop an individualized plan to reduce symptoms while preserving your quality of life.

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