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Gerd - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease can be a serious condition. It takes place in children and is quite common. The disease can often be unrecognised as the symptoms may be misunderstood. This is sad, as GERD generally is treatable. Serious complications might arise if it hasn’t been properly treated. Heartburn is not the sole symptom, but is the typical symptom for GERD. The disease may not show any other visible symptoms. Heartburn may be resulting from disorders taking place outside and inside the oesophagus. GERD gets mistreated or self-treated way too often. It is chronic in nature and treatment is long term even after the symptoms have been managed. Daily life style modifications need to be followed for complying with the medicines. Education and follow ups can help in managing it. Painful symptoms which might undermine a person’s life quality often characterize GERD. Various techniques may be used effectively for treating GERD. They include changing lifestyle patterns, medicine use and surgery. Chronic GERD sufferers need accurate diagnosis and need help from their doctors for receiving the best possible treatment.

There is a lower oesophageal lining abnormality in Barrett’s oesophagus. It is supposed to be due to chronic GERD. Most people suffering from GERD don’t have any such abnormality. Those having Barrett’s oesophagus have a greater chance of having oesophageal cancer. An endoscope can be used to detect Barrett’s oesophagus, but a biopsy is essential for diagnosis. GERD diagnosis may be suspected from the patient’s complaints to their doctor, more so when they are typical. If the patient has uncommon symptoms or the doctor feels the need for confirmatory tests, here are a few diagnostic essentials:

Esophagram- In this oesophageal radiographic study, the patient is made to swallow barium and the radiologist can see the stomach and oesophagus under fluoroscopy. This can help determine any problem of oesophageal narrowing or the presence of any hiatal hernia. It can even estimate of the extent of muscular contractions in the oesophagus. The small intestine and the oesophageal lining can also be directly viewed with the endoscope passing into the small intestine via the mouth, oesophagus, small intestine and stomach. Potential damage can be viewed with a direct view of the oesophageal lining.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Pain in the upper abdomen. Pain in the chest. Bitter taste or sour taste in the mouth. Recurrent vomiting, belching, heartburn, nausea and regurgitation.

Popular Health Tips

Heartburn - Say 'No' To These 3 Foods!

Dr. Parthasarathy G 91% (16 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, Fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgery & Liver Transplantation, International Visiting Scholar
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
Heartburn - Say 'No' To These 3 Foods!
Picture this, you're in a restaurant for a lunch date with your friend. It's a great place and the food is delicious. While you're having a super time, you suddenly start feeling a discomfort in your chest area, and your appetite completely goes down the drain. Chances are that you might be experiencing heartburn. Heartburn is something which is used in both the literal and metaphorical senses. However, the discomfort it entails means that it is no joking matter and your food intake habits are probably responsible if you suffer from it! The good thing about heartburn causing foods is that they are easily recognisable, which is quite great. But, they make up a large portion of people's normal diets, which is not as great, as they are hard to refrain from. A few common examples are listed below: 1. Chocolate: To start off, there is something which is surprisingly a cause for heartburn and is likely to be the cause of a lot of disappointment: chocolate. The sad thing about chocolate is that the key things it is known to cause reflux. Take, for example, cocoa; it is a prime cause for reflux. Also, the caffeine in chocolate as well as something called theobromine is the major culprits of reflux. If a person who loves chocolate seems to be suffering from reflux, he or she knows why now! 2. Coffee: Talking about caffeine, the automatic suspect that is coffee is deeply guilty, as well! Having coffee once in a while may not cause much harm but making it a habit leads to a person setting himself or herself up for a lot of heartburn. 3. Soda: Anything which is acidic is not good for reflux but the thing is that most sodas are very acidic! This is also the case when it comes to fruit, though fruit is generally said to be good for the body. Certain types of fruit, like citrus fruit only worsens the effects of heartburn and can cause a whole load of discomfort to the person who eats them. A lot of the foods, which should be avoided actually have their own health benefits. The case in point is garlic. But, a person should try to have food like cottage cheese or lean chicken, both of which do not cause any heartburn at all. Also, keeping away from food that is fried has a range of benefits from lower consumption of fat, to a reduced risk of cancer as well as a massive drop in heartburn. Deep fried foods should be avoided like the plague! The rule of the thumb when it comes to the issue of heartburn is that if anything happens to be acidic, it is likely to cause heartburn to be aggravated. As long as a person can keep this in mind as a guiding principle, there is no way that they will be suffering from heartburn any more.
3211 people found this helpful

Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?
The tube that carries food to your stomach from your throat is called the oesophagus. When the muscular valve (lower oesophagus sphincter) in the oesophagus fails to relax and carry the food to the stomach, the condition is termed as achalasia. Achalasia has a variety of causes, and can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose the exact cause. Some common causes of achalasia include: 1. Hereditary predispositions 2. Autoimmune disorders (The immune system erroneously destroys healthy cells in the body) 3. Nerve degeneration in the oesophagus There other medical conditions that often lead to symptoms identical to achalasia, such as oesophageal cancer and Chagas disease (an infectious disease caused by a parasite). Other symptoms of achalasia include: The most prominent symptom of achalasia is dysphagia, which is characterised by swallowing difficulties or sensations of food stuck in the oesophagus. Dysphagia often triggers coughing and shortness of breath or choking on food. 1. Discomfort or pain in the chest 2. Weight loss 3. Heartburn 4. Intense discomfort or pain after eating Some of the treatments include: Most of the methods to treat achalasia focus on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). The treatments used can either permanently alter the sphincter s function, or reduce symptoms. 1. Oral medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates are prescribed, which can relax the LES to let food pass through with more ease. Your doctor may also treat the LES with Botox. 2. For a more permanent treatment, the sphincter can be dilated or altered. In dilation, a balloon is inserted into the oesophagus and it is inflated. This will stretch out your oesophagus to improve function. 3. To alter the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy is performed. It is a kind of surgery where minimal incisions are made to gain access to the LES, and then it is carefully altered to improve flow of food to the stomach. Unlike dilation, which can cause complications such as tears in the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy has a greater success rate. However, certain complications may still arise, such as: 1. Acid reflux 2. Respiratory conditions that are caused by food entering your windpipe
1 person found this helpful

GERD - 6 Ways To Help You Control It!

Dr. Nitin Manglik 86% (57 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Ghaziabad
GERD - 6 Ways To Help You Control It!
Gastro oesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, as it is commonly known is a digestive disorder that is caused primarily due to intestinal distress. GERD is the caused in the muscle that lies between the oesophagus and the stomach, when the acid produced in the stomach starts to flow backwards. For patients suffering from GERD, the acids flow back into the oesophagus instead of the stomach, causing symptoms like severe heartburn, chest pain and nausea, amongst others. So what does one do to deal with GERD? Here's a brief list! Obesity: Being overweight and obese are two of the most important factors that contribute to discomfort in GERD patients. Working towards a healthier weight is a sure shot way of dealing with this ailment. Alcohol and smoking: The LES or the muscle ring that can be found between the stomach and the oesophagus relaxes with the intake of alcohol or with smoking, which prevents it from closing to stop the stomach's juices from reaching the oesophagus. So, giving up both substances would be a good idea if you are a GERD patient. Go gluten free: Adopting a gluten free diet can help you cut out ingredients including grains and dairy products that contain more protein than what your digestive tract can handle. Other dietary measures: In order to handle GERD effectively, you will need to remove or reduce chocolate, fatty food, spicy food, and even oily and fried food from your diet. You may need the help of food with extra fibre, like fruit so that food can pass through the digestive tract faster. Smaller and well timed meals: Eating meals regularly and dividing them into smaller meals that can be digested quickly and more efficiently is one of the best ways of dealing with GERD to prevent the onset of backward flowing stomach acids. Exercise: Ensuring that you do not take a nap or lie down right after a meal and putting in a small amount of exercise everyday will also help in doing away with the uncomfortable and painful symptoms of this disease. Making lifestyle changes is one of the best ways to deal with GERD. Yet, it would be best to see a doctor regarding severe cases where the symptoms do not abate and medication may be required.
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6 Most Common Gastrointestinal Problems!

Dr. Bharat Kumar Nara 85% (84 ratings)
MBBS, M.S (Gen Surg), M.Ch ( Surgical Gastro)
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
6 Most Common Gastrointestinal Problems!
The gastrointestinal tract is a large muscular tube that extends all the way from the mouth to the rectum in human beings. It is also called the digestive tract or alimentary canal. The muscles in this tube move the food, all the way to the stomach, from the mouth and then, due to the release of enzymes, the food is digested. The components of the gastrointestinal tract are the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, pancreas, gallbladder etc. Symptoms of gastrointestinal tract problems include: Pain Abdominal distension Heartburn Bloating Nausea Vomiting Constipation Diarrhea Some of the most common gastrointestinal tract problems are: Chest Pain: Also known as Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease, this happens if the stomach acids travel back into one s esophagus. This phenomenon is commonly called an acid reflux. Often, it could occur after meals. It is quite common to experience this every once in a while. However, having these on a daily basis or at least thrice a week should not be ignored, as it could be a symptom of GERD. Celiac Disease: This refers to severe gluten sensitivity, a protein present in rye, wheat and barley. People who suffer from this disease are advised to avoid consumption of gluten in any form. The consumption of gluten sends the immune system on attack mode, damaging the villi which are found in the small intestine, that help to absorb nutrients from the food consumed. Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The feeling of discomfort and stomach pain, at least thrice a month for a prolonged period of time, maybe a symptom of IBS. What causes IBS is unknown, but the treatment is to avoid foods which produce gas. A diet low in fats and high in fiber content is also advised. Hemorrhoids: Blood during bowel movements is a sign of hemorrhoids. It happens when the blood vessels present towards the end of one s digestive tract get inflamed. The causes may include diarrhea, chronic constipation, or a low fiber diet. OTC creams may give temporary relief. A high fiber diet, drinking a lot more water, and exercising regularly is advised. Crohn s Disease: This is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks cells in your own body. Crohn s disease is part of a group of digestive conditions called inflammatory bowel disease. Some symptoms include weight loss, rectal bleeding and abnormal pain. Gallstones: These are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. They occur when there is a high amount of waste or cholesterol in your bile. Gallstones block the passage from the gallbladder to the intestines, which may result in a sharp pain felt in the upper right region of the abdomen. Medication to dissolve the gallstones or surgery is advised. The gastrointestinal tract is very important and should be taken care of properly. Any discomfort shouldn t be ignored.
2070 people found this helpful

GERD - How To Deal With It?

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology, Fellowship in Advanced Endoscopy
Gastroenterologist, Mumbai
GERD - How To Deal With It?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common digestive tract problem where symptoms are produced by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus or beyond, into the oral cavity (including larynx). Normally a band muscle fiber at the lower end of the esophagus (Lower esophageal sphincter) prevents contents of the stomach to enter into the esophagus. If the sphincter relaxes abnormally then gastric contents easily flow back into esophagus producing symptoms. Symptoms of GERD Heartburn (classic symptom) Dysphagia (In long-standing disease) Less common symptoms water brash, odynophagia, burping, hiccups, nausea and vomiting Atypical symptoms Chest pain, asthma, chronic cough, recurrent pneumonitis, laryngitis, dental erosions, disturbed sleep Following factors can increase risk of GERD Obesity Smoking Presence of a hiatus hernia Spicy and fatty food Irregular timings and large amount of meals Factors causing delayed gastric emptying Excessive tea or coffee Associated conditions that can increase GERD Pregnancy Scleroderma Zollinger Ellison syndrome Diagnosis Empirical trial of acid suppression 24 Hour Esophageal pH monitoring Upper GI endoscopy +/- biopsy Esophageal manometry Management Lifestyle modification like weight reduction, discontinue smoking & alcohol intake, dietary changes, etc. Pharmacological therapy acid-suppressing medications, prokinetic drugs Endoscopic therapy anti-reflux mucosectomy (ARMS procedure), Stretta procedure Surgical therapy Fundoplication In case you have any concern or query, you can always consult an expert and get answers to you questions.
3050 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I was diagnosed with gerd in 2013 and redone endoscopy in 2017 SEP and found mild antral gastritis with gerd and from 25 days stomach pain, nausea,burning stomach sour throat taste, gastro doctor gave me pantosec DSR yesterday but from today stomach pain after taking that tablet, is that causing it.

Dr. Jayvirsinh Chauhan 97% (7679 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
All your Medicine are just temporary solution. And will never cure your problems. They will keep on increasing. Better take Homoeopathic treatment to cure it and no need to take other treatment lifelong.
1 person found this helpful

Hello Doctors, From the past 1 year almost I get stomach and chest burning sensation, burping with acid reflux and stomach fullness sometimes also sometimes when I eat it's painful when passes through. It's gerd they said I consulted with 2 doctors. First doctor prescribed pantosec D for a month and another doctor prescribed 15 days medicine veloz D and Veloz 20. But when medication dosage are completed the problem starts again. Now endoscopy is being suggested I am now worried if it's something very serious? I read on internet that long term gerd can cause esophageal damage and cancer. Can anyone please guide Me. I don't know what to do.

Dr. V.P. Bansal 91% (543 ratings)
MBBS, MD, DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery)
Homeopath, Indore
Take Nux vom 200, 4 pills twice a day for 3 days and Ars alb 200, 4 pills 3 days and then report thereafter for further treatment. Till then avoid junk food, oily and spicy food, avoid stimulants like alcohol, coffee. Take sprouts and salads, be hydrated, don't be hungry more, take proper sleep and reduce stress. For more queries, contact us.

I was diagnosed with gerd in 2013 and in 2017 October, redone endoscopy told gerd with mild gastritis. From 2 weeks I have dull stomach pain and nausea, will I have to do anything further and any medications.

Dr. Surbhi Agrawal 89% (19062 ratings)
General Physician, Nashik
Take tablet rekool d once daily empty stomach for 7 days and revert so that I may assist you further.

Health Quizzes

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - Ways It Can Affect You!

Dr. Sudeepta Kumar 93% (118 ratings)
DNB, Surgical Gastroenterology, MS(Surgery)
Gastroenterologist, Chennai
The treatment for GERD generally involves simple lifestyle changes.True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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79 people took this quiz

Heartburn - Myths and Facts

Dr. Vikas Gupta 93% (1175 ratings)
MD - Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Jammu
Drinking milk will cure you of the heartburn. True or False? Take the quiz to know now.
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2389 people took this quiz

Acidity Myths and Facts

Dr. Jagat Shah 89% (213 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, Masters Degree of Homoeopathy
Homeopath, Mumbai
A mint after a meal prevents acidity. True or False? Take this quiz to find out!
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3816 people took this quiz

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