What Is Gastric Reflux Disease?
Gastric reflux disease – commonly known as GERD – is a very uncomfortable chronic ailment that affects millions of adults and infants around the world. Situated in the digestive system, it’s a disease where your stomach acid comes back up your esophagus and causes pain. Back to Top of your health online page
It’s the stomach acid that comes back up the food pipe that irritates your throat and results in a burning feeling in your chest. Some people have a mild form of the disease, while others suffer from GERD so painful, it feels like they’re having a heart attack.
Many people experience heartburn from time to time, but GERD is diagnosed when it become s a frequent occurrence, like two or three times a week. It’s something that might be serious, so you need to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
When it comes time to treat GERD, you might be able to make simple lifestyle changes, such as eating different foods (abstaining from ones that result in severe heartburn – including alcohol) and lessening stress, which can also contribute to this disease.
Or, your doctor may prescribe medications to help alleviate the symptoms of GERD so that you can sleep soundly at night. From time to time, a combination of the two treatment options might be recommended.
If you have an extremely bad case of GERD, then your doctor may even recommend surgery to reduce and eliminate symptoms. You’ll need to discuss it with him or her to see which path they want you to take.
The stomach acid is introduced to your esophagus when the lower esophageal sphincter is so relaxed that it allows the reentry of materials from the stomach area into your throat. Aside from chest pain and throat discomfort, you may also start to see other symptoms, such as a cough or even difficulty in swallowing.
GERD is not a disease that you should ignore. It initially starts out being uncomfortable, but can eventually morph into something more dangerous. For instance, the cells in the esophagus can become altered into a cancerous form, so it’s vital that you monitor the progression of the disease.
While GERD is most prevalent in adults, it can also be seen in children – from infanthood on.
Because kids aren’t familiar with it, they may not be able to recognize that it’s heartburn they’re experiencing, so make sure you watch for symptoms like spitting up or vomiting, chest pain, burping or refusing to eat.
Learn more here about What is Acid Reflux and Heartburn?
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