Everything You Need to Know About GERD Disease

What is GERD Disease and its Causes:

There could be a variety of different causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The main cause of GERD disease is the malfunction of the esophageal sphincter. In some cases, it could also be caused due to the abdominal production of gastric acids. This mostly happens due to the insufficient amount of stomach acids which makes it hard for the stomach valve to open up in order to transfer the broken down food to the intestines. What it does is that it causes an irritation of esophagus, which ultimately leads to the inflammation linked with the disease.

Another most threatening and major risk factor for this medical condition is smoking. Not only does it play a major role in initiating GERD, but it also promotes the symptoms. Though this condition can be aggravated through drinking tea, alcohol, or coffee, none of these symptoms has been identified as dangerous as smoking. But, once this disease has been identified or diagnosed, it is very important to avoid drinking alcohol or tea until the symptoms disappear.

What is GERD Disease and its Common Symptoms:

If you are concerned that you might have a serious disease like acid reflux or GERD, then it becomes imperative for you to determine the major symptoms of acid reflux disease. Finding out about the existence of this medical condition in the earlier stages is of great importance, especially when it comes to dealing with it, stopping damage, and finally devising a treatment plan.

One of the most common symptoms of GERD is chronic heartburn. If you feel heartburn every week or even once a month, then you could be a potential candidate for developing GERD. The more often you experience this symptom, the worse situation you are in. You need to understand the fact that you do not necessarily have to experience it all the time, as a few occurrences once a while are enough.

The second most important symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is the feeling of dizziness or nausea after eating. The nausea is often the result of stomach fluids building up while the body is trying to digest what has just been eaten and excessive fluids need to be eliminated out of the system. In order to deal with this problem, your body causes heartburn by directing the stomach acid in the upward direction into your esophagus. When it starts happening too often, it can significantly damage the lining of esophagus and deteriorate the sphincter muscles of tissue linking the esophagus and the stomach. Over time, this will lead to permanent issues and unbearable pain after every meal.

Excessive belching is another common symptom for acid reflux disease. If you are feeling a gassy most of the time, then you are more likely dealing with an over reactive digestive system that will, at some point in time, provide the basis for this severe disease.

What is GERD Disease the Medical Tests:

When you visit your doctor about your health condition, there are a number of different tests and examinations being done to find out if your heartburn will damage esophagus or the internal organ. The first test is known as Endoscopy, where a video camera and a flexible tube are inserted into the mouth, down into the esophagus and stomach. There is no need to worry about anything, as you will be sedated during the procedure.

The second common test that the doctor will carry out is called as Barium Esophagram. What this test does is that it evaluates the shape of the esophagus, identifying any abnormalities present in the stomach and throat. You will be required to drink a chalky liquid having barium that covers the stomach and esophagus, thereby making them exposed in the X-Ray.

The third test is known as Esophageal PH monitoring, which determines the amount of acid present in the esophagus built up over time. In a variation of this procedure, a tiny tube is passed through the nose and down into the esophagus, which gives the measurement of the acid over a period of 24 hours. Another method of monitoring is the addition of a medicine sized monitor during endoscopy that determines the amount of acid over 48 hour time span. While these tests might seem uncomfortable, it is still far better than suffering from a rotted esophagus later.

What is GERD Disease and its Treatment Options:

When it comes to the treatment options for GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, they tend to vary from one patient to another. Some individuals use antacids, which are efficient in neutralizing the stomach acids as well as to help control the symptoms. Others take mucosal agents to ensure proper protection of esophagus. Another option is sucralfate suspension, which acts as a gel layer that prevents stomach juices from rising out of the stomach. However, this is only available by prescription.

Another treatment option involves the use of Prokinetic agents that helps stomach to discard acids before it creates a problem. Moreover, patients are given proton pump inhibitors or Acid-suppressive H2 receptor to reduce the levels of acid present in the stomach. In addition to these steps and measures, practitioners often advise to the patients to lose weight, eat smaller meals, quit smoking, buy new pillows, and stop eating hours before going to bed. Also, foods such as alcohol, citrus, chocolate, peppermint, tomatoes, and those high in fats should be avoided at all costs.