GERD is the acronym for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. GERD, also known as Acid Reflux, is the medical condition that refers to the mucosal damage caused by the stomach acids that make their way up from the stomach to the esophagus.
GERD symptoms vary from person to person but are evident and easily recognizable. GERD is characterized by the following prevalent symptoms:
- Heartburn – This refers to the burning sensation in the chest that is caused by the regurgitation of the gastric acids. It leads to discomfort around the heart and may or may not be painful. The burning sensation might become intense at night.
- Difficulty in Swallowing – Discomfort or pain during swallowing food or liquid is another common sign of GERD.
- Chest Pain – Constant ache in and around the chest is a prominent symptom of GERD. This pain may even make it difficult for the patient to sleep at night.
- Nausea – GERD is usually accompanied by nausea. The intensity and frequency differ from one person to next.
- Dry Cough – A few patients may complain of a sensation of a lump in the throat due to injury to the esophagus. This is accompanied by chronic dry cough, especially at night time.
- Water Brash – This refers to an increase in the production of saliva. It is a less common symptom but may be experienced by GERD patients.
- Others – As GERD i.e. chronic acid reflux often leads to an injury to the esophagus, chronic cough, constant clearing of the throat, dental issues such as eroding enamel, rotting teeth, etc, and new or worsening asthma are the possible dangers of GERD.
GERD is more troublesome for people who are obese and have limited physical activity. GERD symptoms can be easily managed and controlled by simple lifestyle changes as detailed below:
- Portion Control – Overeating and indigestion are the leading causes of GERD. By eating small portions we can easily manage GERD symptoms.
- Avoid Certain Food – Onions, chocolates, fruits such as oranges, fatty foods, coffee, fatty foods, greasy foods, carbonated drinks, peppermint, etc must be avoided especially before bedtime. In general, you can follow a low-carb diet.
- Avoid Alcohol, Tobacco and Caffeine – Alcohol consumption, smoking, and coffee intake must be regulated to control GERD symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.
- Weight Control – If you are overweight or obese, even a slight reduction in weight will help ease the GERD symptoms.
- Others – Consuming antacids help neutralize the stomach acids and may offer immediate relief from symptoms but these cannot help in healing the inflamed esophagus.
- Eat your food slowly and always chew properly
- Avoid lying down immediately after having a meal
- Avoid sleeping on your right side
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes
If you are not able to get relief from GERD symptoms even after the above-mentioned lifestyle changes, you must seek expert medical advice from the specialists at Sahasra Hospitals. They will examine your symptoms and suggest a few medical examinations to confirm GERD before advising medications to ease the symptoms and offer relief from discomfort.
The highly trained gastroenterologists at Sahasra Hospitals also specialize in the Acid-reflux surgery known as Nissen’s Fundoplication. This is a laparoscopic procedure that requires 5 small incisions around the abdomen. The valve between the esophagus and stomach is reinforced by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach with the lower portion of the esophagus. This is a quick and safe procedure and the patient is discharged in a day or two.
For more details about the procedure, schedule your medical check-up and consultation with the distinguished gastroenterologist Dr. Srikanth Gadiyaram at Sahasra Hospitals. We practice the highest standards of medical care and leave no stone unturned to ensure a speedy recovery. Book an appointment now!