Hi and welcome to HCM!
Thanks for posting your query here.
The oesophagus is connected to the upper end of the stomach and is regulated by oesophogo-gastric sphincter. It stops the acid produced in the stomach to come into the oesophagus. HCl-Hydrochloric acid is produced by the stomach to facilitate the digestion of the food. The gastric/stomach lining is protective to the acid released. But oesophagus dont have that mucosal lining.
If the sphincter is not tight it results in the reflux of the acid into the oeso. This causes a burning sensation in the epigastric/middle of the chest area. And in some patients if the disease is severe it results in coarsening of the voice and cough. This disease is called Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease-GERD.
The diagnosis is by upper GI/gastrointestinal endoscopy
. This can be done by a gastroenterologist as a day procedure. They will insert a scope into the oeso and will check the acid reflux
This can be treated by two methods-
1.Conservative-medical drugs like omeprazole
will help in reducing the acid production. Some other drugs like domperidone
, perinorm will help in reducing the nausea-vomiting
sensation associated with the reflux. Antacids like Digene, Gelusil will help in neutralizing the acid secretion.
2.Surgical methods- surgery is indicated in severe cases. It is called as fundoplication-In this surgery they will tight the gastro-oesophageal sphincter permanently so that there will not be any reflux. The pros and conns of the surgery can be discussed with the surgeon.
Elevating the head end while sleeping, walking after lunch or dinner will reduce the reflux.
Hope this is helpful to you.