GERD

GERD is Gastro (stomach)-Esophageal (food pipe) Reflux (flow back) Disease.

Esophagus is the tube that carries food from mouth to stomach. Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux is stomach contents (acid and digestive juices)comes up or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it. Result is heart burn burning sensation in throat/chest. Occasional reflux is common , reflux more than twice a week is GERD.

What Causes GERD?

Food travels from mouth to stomach through a tube called the gullet or esophagus. At the lower end of the esophagus is a small ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which allows food to pass through into the stomach but prevent back-flow of stomach juices (acid) into the esophagus. GERD occurs when the LES does not function properly allowing acid to flow back and burn the lower esophagus..

What are the Risk Factors for GERD?

Common foods that can worsen reflux symptoms:
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Soda
  • Mint flavorings
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomato
  • Drinks with caffeine or alcohol
  • Fatty and fried foods
  • Garlic and onions
Eating Habits:
  • Smoking and Alcohol
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Stress
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Medicines. NSAIDS, medicines used to treat asthma, high blood pressure, heart problems, anxiety, insomnia, depression, pain, Parkinson’s disease, muscle spasm, or cancer.

  • Exercise. Increased pressure on the abdomen can increase the risk of acid reflux. Weightlifters had the most heartburn and acid reflux

Symptoms of GERD
  • Choking spells
  • Chest pain
  • Belching
  • Excessive salivation
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Burning throat or chest (heart burn)
  • Regurgitation of stomach acid and food content
  • Feeling of lump in throat, difficulty in swallowing
  • Chronic cough, night time breathing difficulty
  • Post nasal drip frequent sore throat, Excessive clearing of the throat
In infants and children, GERD may cause repeated vomiting, coughing, and other respiratory problems.
Alarm Symptoms:
  • Loss of weight, blood in stool or vomiting

  • Severe Anaemia and weakness, dysphagea

  • Patient over 50 years with dyspepsia

Management of GERD
If you have had symptoms of GERD and have been using antacids or other over-the-counter reflux medications for more than 2 weeks visit a gastroenterologist.

Life style changes: Self care (How to prevent Heart burn)
  • Quit smoking /Avoid alcohol

  • Avoid citruos fruits, coffee, peppermint, oily/spicy food, tomato, cola drinks

  • Weight loss for obese

  • Regular and periodic small meals- don’t escape break fast, keep dinner light

  • Avoid exercising, bending, lying down for 2 hours after eating.

  • Raise head end of bed, sleep on your left side

Management of GERD:
  • Antacids

  • Antihistamines and pro kinetics

  • Proton pump inhibitors

Surgery in Refractory Cases
What are the Long-term Complications of GERD?
GERD in Children

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M.S., FMAS, FIAGES, FALS, FACRSI
Fellow Advance Laparoscopic Surgery
Fellow Colorectal Surgery USA
Senior Laparoscopic & Colorectal Surgeon
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