GERD Symptoms and Treatment

gerd symptoms and treatment

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a digestive condition characterized by frequent episodes of acid indigestion and is caused by weakness or relaxation of an important muscle at the lower esophageal sphincter (valve).

When food enters your stomach, the valve typically closes tightly; however, if it relaxes too much or opens too widely, acid from your stomach could flow back up through to your esophagus, resulting in heartburn or other symptoms.

Heartburn

Heartburn is one of the more prevalent symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It occurs when stomach acid escapes its usual place and into your esophagus – the tube connecting food from mouth to stomach.

As it often is the result of improper functioning or weakening from body weight, tight clothing or pregnancy pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter valve, food and stomach acid may come back up into your throat, leading to regurgitation.

Symptoms typically include chest discomfort and difficulty swallowing or tasting sour in your mouth; these signs may become more apparent when lying down or bending over.

If you suffer from frequent heartburn, your physician may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further evaluation and treatment. This could involve tests such as endoscopy or pH monitoring in order to pinpoint what’s triggering GERD symptoms.

Your doctor may suggest an esophageal manometry test to measure how effectively your esophageal sphincter is functioning and how well medication is working, according to Dr. Nipaporn Pichetshote, assistant medical director for Cedars-Sinai’s GI Motility program in Los Angeles.

Other treatments for GERD include taking medications to lower or neutralize stomach acidity and avoiding foods known to trigger heartburn, such as spicy and fried foods. You could also consider minimally invasive surgery known as Nissen Fundoplication which tightens the junction between your stomach and esophagus for tighter relief.

GERD symptoms often prompt doctors to prescribe medicines which reduce acid production in your stomach, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or medications to stop this production of stomach acid.

Bloating

Bloating is your body’s natural response to flush out waste products and toxins from its systems, and an indicator that more water and a healthier diet is necessary for its proper functioning.

Gnarly stomach can also be an early indicator of serious medical problems like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome; or even just food allergies!

Avoid bloating by eating smaller meals more frequently and maintaining proper fluid intake – aim to consume at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water daily in order to prevent dehydration and keep yourself properly hydrated.

Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter antacids or acid blockers, which can quickly relieve GERD symptoms by neutralizing stomach acids. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), however, also aid in healing damaged esophageal tissue and may reduce risks related to GERD.

GERD can be caused by any number of issues with the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a pressure barrier designed to keep stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus. Other contributing factors may include problems with muscles that keep the LES closed and issues within the esophagus itself.

In severe cases, GERD can lead to life-threatening conditions that could even put one’s own life in jeopardy. One such condition is called erosive esophagitis – when stomach acid erodes away at the lining of your esophagus lining – leading to bleeding ulcers and even ulcers forming on its own. Other complications can arise from an esophageal stricture causing food or pills from becoming stuck within it and becoming difficult or impossible to pass by its own mechanism.

If you have GERD, your doctor may suggest an endoscopy – a flexible tube that travels down your throat into your stomach and esophagus and has a tiny camera inserted inside to look inside and examine both areas; additionally a tissue sample (biopsy) may need to be collected as well as several tests designed to confirm diagnosis of the condition.

Nausea

Nausea, which can result in vomiting, is one of the hallmarks of gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). This occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter opens too often during food digestion and allows stomach acid to seep back up into your esophagus and throat causing an unpleasant burning sensation that leads to symptoms like nausea.

People suffering from GERD may also experience pain in the chest or neck when experiencing symptoms, as well as experiencing heartburn – an uncomfortable burning feeling in their throat that’s known by its initials “H”.

Treatments for GERD involve lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding certain foods known to trigger symptoms and medications that decrease acid production in your stomach, such as antacids, H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors.

Pro-motility medications may also help empty your stomach quickly; these are available with valid medical documentation or as over-the-counter remedies.

If your symptoms are severe or do not respond to medication prescribed above, your doctor may suggest another antiemetics for nausea, such as Doxylamine succinate and Ondansetron.

People suffering from GERD should avoid foods that worsen symptoms, like caffeine and alcohol. They may be able to reduce symptoms by staying upright for three hours after meals and avoiding clothing that makes it harder for the LES (Laparoscopic Esophageal Systom) to close properly.

Medication may provide relief for GERD by decreasing acid production in your stomach. Over-the-counter acid buffers may help neutralize any acid that reaches your throat; these products come either in liquid or tablet form.

Herbal teas can also help reduce nausea. Ginger, spearmint, peppermint and raspberry leaf teas are excellent choices to choose from and can even be taken in liquid form for easier consumption than tablets.

Acid Reflux

If you are suffering from frequent acid reflux symptoms and taking over-the-counter medications or antacids on a regular basis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) could be to blame. This happens when your lower esophageal sphincter, the band of muscle which normally keeps food inside your stomach without backflow into your esophagus, doesn’t relax as intended or weakens over time.

When eating and drinking, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to allow food and liquid into your stomach, then closes when swallowing, before opening again to let out food again. When lying down, this LES relaxes a little but remains open for extended periods, potentially allowing acid from your stomach to escape back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn symptoms.

GERD is most prevalent among adults, but children can also develop it. Common symptoms of GERD include frequent and painful heartburn, an unpleasant bitter taste in your mouth, difficulty swallowing and sore throat symptoms.

Infant GERD can be more difficult to identify since infants cannot communicate how they’re feeling directly. Signs include constant crying, refusing breastfeed or bottle-feed, and frequent vomiting.

Over time, GERD can damage the tissue lining your esophagus, leading to ulcers that require treatment.

GERD can be managed both through medication and lifestyle modifications, which your doctor will work closely with you on. Eating smaller meals and limiting certain food can help relieve symptoms associated with GERD; some individuals find reducing weight or drinking less alcohol also helps.

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways (bronchial tubes) that provide air intake/outtake to your lungs, making it one of the most prevalent respiratory illnesses among children and adults alike.

Asthma symptoms can vary depending on who’s diagnosed and can be managed through medication and avoiding triggers. Common signs include coughing, wheezing and chest tightness or pain.

Your doctor will conduct several tests to assess the severity and frequency of your asthma symptoms and confirm a diagnosis, including breathing tests (pulmonary function tests) and blood tests.

Tests help your doctor identify which type of asthma you have and the dosage needed to control it. Your physician may suggest both quick-relief and long-term control medications that reduce inflammation in your airways to make them less vulnerable to triggers.

Work closely with your physician on developing an asthma action plan that details when and how you should take your medications, and how to manage any attacks you experience – such as learning your triggers, tracking symptoms and managing stress.

Asthma can be brought on by many factors, from allergies and colds to sinus infections, smoking or being exposed to chemicals – and environmental ones too!

An asthma attack usually begins with whistling noises while breathing in or out, followed by shortness of breath and chest tightness or pain. Though annoying, these symptoms could potentially prove deadly if left untreated quickly and correctly.

If your asthma attack doesn’t respond to treatment or your current medicines are no longer controlling it, see your doctor immediately. They may prescribe beta-adrenergic bronchodilator drugs which relax muscle around your lungs and open airways; additionally they can administer corticosteroid medicine by mouth or intravenously (IV) to both treat symptoms and prevent future attacks.

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