Acidity can agitate a person who is happily enjoying their day. GERD or gastroesophageal is a very common condition. In this blog we will be understanding more about GERD – symptoms and treatment.
What is GERD And Acid Reflux?
When acid present in the stomach backflows to the esophagus, acid reflux occurs. The esophagus is a thin tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.
Acid reflux can lead to agitation in the esophagus. Many people experience this frequently. Try Consulting your healthcare specialists straightaway when the condition occurs more than twice a week.
Most people can relieve GERD symptoms by making slight lifestyle changes or taking over-the-counter medicines. Very few people need powerful medications or surgeries for the disease. In this blog, we will talk and understand all about GERD symptoms and treatment.
What Are The Warning Signs And Symptoms Of GERD?
One of the most common GERD symptoms is Heartburn. You will have a sensation of burning chest pain that begins at the back of your breastbone and move upwards to the neck and throat.
The heartburn may last for over 2 hours and worsen, especially after having meals.
How To Relieve Heartburn?
- By standing straight
- Taking an antacid ( helps in nullifying the acid from the esophagus).
Other GERD symptoms include:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Chest pain
- Sense of formation of a lump in the throat
What Causes GERD?
The exact GERD causes are not yet confirmed. But, certain things can worsen the condition, either by easing the lower esophageal sphincter or directly by making the esophagus irksome. There are some medications and GERD foods to avoid.
Some of the causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease are as follows:
Other Medical Conditions
Eating heavy meals,
Eating right before your bedtime.
Fried & fatty food,
Drinks containing caffeine,
What Types of Doctors Provide GERD Treatment?
Initially, you can go to your general healthcare specialist to diagnose the disease. Then, depending upon the severity of the condition, he may recommend consultation from the following doctors – a gastroenterologist, a surgeon, or a radiologist.
A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in gastroesophageal reflux disease treatments and several other diseases concerned with the gastrointestinal tract.
A general surgeon may be necessary if your condition worsens with time and requires surgery.
A radiologist is responsible for carrying out certain specific diagnostic tests for GERD.
How is GERD Diagnosed?
A diagnosis is the first step towards providing perfect GERD treatment. The doctor can diagnose the disease by knowing your symptoms and a physical examination. He can perform one or more of the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:
The doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube down your throat. The tube has a light and a camera that helps visualize the inside of the stomach and esophagus.
Ambulatory Acid Probe Test
With this test, a doctor can detect and treat the condition of acid reflux — a small, thin tube goes into the esophagus that forms a link between the mouth and stomach.
This test measures the amount of acid that backflows from the stomach to the esophagus in a 24-hour timeframe.
The test is appropriate for people whose symptoms of GERD are not getting relieved with medication.
This test detects the problems with pressure and movement of the esophagus that may develop symptoms like heartburn.
Esophageal manometry assesses the muscle coordination and strength of the food pipe(or esophagus) while swallowing food.
X-ray Of Upper Digestive System
The doctor will first ask you to drink a thick barium solution for this test. It coats the inside of the digestive tract, thereby helping the doctor analyze it better.
The doctor can even ask you to swallow a barium pill to detect if the esophagus has narrowed down.
GERD Treatment Options
The doctor will suggest some lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter medications at the outset. Then, suppose there is no or minimal improvement in your condition. In that case, the doctor will recommend some prescription drugs or surgery to get the condition treated.
- Antacids: These drugs usually don’t need any prescription. It neutralizes the amount of acid due in the stomach content and provides quick but temporary relief.
People consume antacids in varying doses as per the health requirement. Famocid 20 mg, Facid 40 mg are some of the common antacids.
- 2H2 Blockers: These drugs can help in reducing the acid from the stomach. You will not experience quick relief by utilizing H2 blockers, but the effect persists for about 12 hours.
The doctor usually suggests these medicine and antacids for relieving heartburn symptoms after meals. A heavier dose of the medications needs a prescription from a doctor. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) are very effective in blocking acid production in the stomach. These drugs are suitable for those people who suffer from frequent heartburn.
PPIs are the best treatment, which provides relief from GERD symptoms and helps the esophagus heal. Some of the examples of proton pump inhibitors(PPI) are Ventrab 20 Mg, Veloz 20mg, Rabicip 20 mg, etc.
Surgery And Other Methods
- Fundoplication: This is a type of laparoscopic surgery in which a surgeon wraps the top section of your stomach around the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter). It tightens the muscles and reduces acid reflux.
Fundoplication can control acid reflux for a comparatively long term compared to any other treatment alternative.
- LINX Device: It is a modern alternative discovered for GERD treatment. The surgeon winds a ring of small magnetic titanium around the junction where the esophagus links to the stomach.
The ring ensures that food passes into the stomach and closes that region when no food is present.
Answering your questions
Is GERD curable or not?
GERD is typically a very treatable disease, but many people don’t know they have it because its symptoms are associated with numerous other conditions. Common symptoms of GERD include: Chronic heartburn. Regurgitation.
What are the 4 types of GERD?
The four types / stages of gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Mild Acid Reflux
- Moderate Acid Reflux
- Severe Acid Reflux
- Esophageal cancer
Is GERD very serious?
In itself, GERD isn’t life-threatening or harmful. Long-term GERD, on the other hand, can lead to more significant health issues such as Esophagitis
How can I relieve GERD?
Some things that might relieve you from reflux into the esophagus are eating sparingly and slowly, staying up after eating, and not drinking carbonated beverages.
Is milk good for acid reflux?
Drinking cold milk does help with acid reflux, just drink milk that is low in fat percentage.
Does water help acid reflux?
Yes, water can help lower acidity and GERD symptoms in the later stages of digestion. You can neutralise the acid in your stomach by drinking tap or filtered water a few minutes after a meal, reducing heartburn.
Why do I have GERD everyday?
If you are experiencing heartburn and acidity every day it is highly advised to see a doctor as you might have gastroesophageal reflux disorder.
How long does GERD take to heal?
After you start your treatment for the condition it can take about 2 to 3 weeks to heal.
Can you live long with GERD?
Yes you can live long. After you’ve been diagnosed with GERD, it is likely that you’ll have to manage it for the rest of your life.
Does GERD affect your heart?
According to studies people with GERD are more likely than others to develop heart disease, characterized by irregular heartbeats, plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart, and reduced blood supply to the heart.
Can GERD cause back pain?
A heat burn can cause some back pain in the lower back.
Can GERD cause tingling in body?
You may have a B12 deficiency if you experience a lot of heartburn and take medication for it. This might cause numbness or tingle in your hands or feet.
What if GERD is left untreated?
An untreated GERD condition can cause permanent damage to the esophagus in the long run.
Does burping help acid reflux?
Burping does not necessarily help with acid reflux. Burping helps release excess air in the abdomen caused by bloating. Bloating is one of the signs of mild GERD.