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GERD - How To Deal With It?

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology, Fellowship in Advanced Endoscopy
Gastroenterologist, Mumbai  •  11 years experience
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

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  • Factors causing delayed gastric emptying

  • Excessive tea or coffee

Associated conditions that can increase GERD

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.

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