Disorders of the digestive system are common occurrences. The most popular deviations of the digestive system include pain in the stomach, ulcers, constipation and Crohn’s disease
. Another familiar abnormality of the digestive system is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Prolonged irregularities of the digestive system should be evaluated by a physician.
GERD Disease Defined
GERD is the unscripted back flow of gastric contents from the stomach into the esophagus
Symptoms Of GERD Disease
Heartburn is usually the primary symptom associated with GERD. Other customary symptoms may include difficulty swallowing, signs of an asthma
flare up and dry cough.
Diagnosing GERD Disease
There is not a specific test that can be performed to diagnose GERD. The physician will make the diagnosis of GERD following a physical examination of the patient and review of the patient’s symptoms. Typically the symptoms of GERD will be intermittently and resolve with the use of over the counter medication and dietary changes. Unresolved GERD symptoms may require the physician to order additional tests including barium swallow x-ray. This test is done to find structural deviations of the esophagus. An upper endoscopy exam may also be ordered. During this exam the physician uses an endoscope to visualize the inside structures of the esophagus.
Causes Of GERD Disease
The precise reason that GERD develops is not known. The presence of a hiatal hernia is thought to add to the development of GERD. Additional factors that may cause GERD include smoking cigarettes, and being expectant mother.
Risk Factors Of GERD Disease
Certain conditions that may put you at a greater chance to develop GERD include the presence of a hiatal hernia, smoking cigarettes, and being an expectant mother. Additional risks factors include the existence of certain medical conditions such as diabetes
, asthma, and having an average amount of weight on your body.
Treatment For GERD Disease
The therapy prescribed for GERD will vary from person to person and will be dependent upon the symptoms displayed and the severity. Typically the treatment for GERD includes lifestyle modifications and the use of medication. Surgery may be an option for persistent cases of GERD that are not relived with traditional therapy.
Medications For GERD Disease
There are many medications used in the plan of care for GERD. The usual medications used in GERD therapy include proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers and antacids. Proton pump inhibitors lessen the sum of acid in the stomach. These medications come in prescription and over the counter form. Antacids work by counterbalancing the acid in the stomach. Antacids are also used as a remedy for heartburn. H2 blockers cut down on the amount of acid in the stomach and aid in the mending process of an inflamed and swollen esophagus.
Recovery From GERD Disease
The recuperation phase of GERD attacks will not be exactly the same for all patients.
Prevention Of GERD Disease
Reducing the incidence of GERD may be done by making various lifestyle modifications including eating smaller portioned meals, up keeping a healthy weight and lifestyle. Not consuming certain foods that initiate attacks of heartburn. Popular foods that may initiate a burning sensation in chest includes alcohol, chocolate, garlic, onion and some caffeine containing products.