Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a very prevalent condition affecting millions of people around the world. This disease results from the regurgitation of acid to the esophagus, which triggers a burning sensation and chest pain.
While most people experience acid reflux occasionally, if you have symptoms at least twice a week, you may be dealing with GERD.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), GERD affects around 20% of Americans. Treating these diseases promptly can prevent long-term complications.
The Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux and GERD
Acid Reflux and GERD manifests with a variety of symptoms, including:
An uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest – people refer to this symptom as heartburn.
A bitter taste in the back of the mouth – this is due to acid and food regurgitation.
Acid reflux to the lungs – a serious condition known as aspiration pneumonia.
The Causes of Acid Reflux and GERD
Researchers identified a defect in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) as the leading cause of GERD. In other words, the LES does not close properly, allowing acid and nutrients to move up your esophagus.
Evidently, several surgical procedures dedicated to the treatment of GERD focus on increasing the tonicity of LES by sewing a wire around the opening.
The Treatment Options for GERD
The best approach to relieve the symptoms of GERD is by following some lifestyle measures, such as increasing fiber content, minimizing your intake of some foods (e.g., chocolate, alcohol), exercising more often, and using two pillows to elevate your upper body.
Your Provider may also prescribe one of the following medications:
- H2 receptor blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors
If all treatments fail to improve your symptoms, it may be appropriate to consult a general surgeon about your candidacy for GERD procedures.
We hope that this article managed to shed some light on acid reflux and GERD. If you believe you have Acid Reflux/GERD, telemedicine makes it possible for you to get the care you deserve. Schedule a virtual consultation with a Telakai Health online Provider and get on the road to recovery. Schedule your visit today.