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GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX OR “ACID REFLUX”

  • Sep 28
  • Digestive Care

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Acid reflux?

  • Gastroesophageal reflux or Acid reflux occurs when the stomach contents flow back, upward into the esophagus and or mouth.
  • Occasional reflux is normal in healthy adults. But when it causes discomfort, symptoms and damage to the esophagus as a result of acid reflux, it is called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

What are the common symptoms of Acid reflux?

  • Heartburn or burning sensation in the chest, sometimes more in the retrosternal region.
  • Regurgitation, which means that the undigested food flow back into your throat or mouth.
  • Stomach pain
  • Discomfort in swallowing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Unexplained cough

GERD risk factors

Certain factors increase a person’s risk of developing GERD like;

  • Obesity
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Pregnancy
  • Lifestyle factors like Cigarette smoking, Coffee, Chocolates, Fatty food etc

How to get relief?

  • Reduce weight (If overweight)
  • Raise the head end of your bed by 6 – 8 inches
  • Avoid foods which can aggravate your symptoms like coffee, chocolate, alcohol, fatty food, carbonated drinks
  • Stop smoking if you are a smoker
  • Avoid late meals – plan early dinner by 7pm
  • Avoid NSAID’s

How is Acid reflux treated?

  • Consult your medical specialist who will give you medicines for reducing the stomach acid
  • Commonly used medicines are antacids, histamine blockers and proton pump inhibitors

Is it a must to see a medical specialist?

  • It is better to see a medical specialist to confirm the diagnosis of GERD.
  • More importantly we should not miss a diagnosis of major problems like a malignancy, ulcer or a cardiac problem which also may present with similar complaints.
  • Patients with alarm symptoms like weight loss, gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia must be seen by a medical specialist

What are the complications of GERD?

  • Erosive esophagitis
  • Esophageal stricture
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Asthma
  • Throat problems like laryngitis
  • Dental problems – Dental erosions

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