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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Gastro esophageal reflux disease

Gastro esophageal reflux disease

Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious form of gastro esophageal reflux (GER), which is common. GER occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens spontaneously, for varying periods of time, or does not close properly and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus.

GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices—called acids—rise up with the food.

When acid reflux occurs, food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus it may cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn or acid indigestion.

Occasional GER is common and does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. People of all ages can have GERD.


Causes

Lower esophagus sphincter tone is reduced and relaxed while the rest of the esophagus is working.

When a hiatus hernia is present, acid reflux can occur more easily.

Other factors that may contribute to GERD include

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking


Common foods that can worsen reflux

  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Drinks with caffeine or alcohol
  • Fatty and fried foods
  • Garlic and onions
  • Mint flavorings
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili, and pizza


Diagnosis

  • Barium studies
  • upper GI endoscopy
  • pH montiring

 

Treatment

Lifestyle Changes

  • If you smoke, stop
  • Avoid foods and beverages that worsen symptoms
  • Lose weight if needed
  • Eat small, frequent meals
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal
  • Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by securing wood blocks under the bedposts

 

Medications

Antacids-  Syp.Gelusil-MPS,  Syp. Digene etc

Proton pump inhibitors- Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, Rabeprazole, and Esmoprazole

H2 antogonist- Ranitidine, Famotidine to decrease acid production

 

Surgery

Surgery is an option when medicine and lifestyle changes do not help to manage GERD symptoms. Surgery may also be a reasonable alternative to a lifetime of drugs and discomfort.


Endoscopic techniques

 

Vagotomy and other procedures