Have you ever experienced a burning feeling inside your internal organs, mainly after you ate? Could you be experiencing acid reflux? This is something that most individuals may encounter at some point in their lives, but when it occurs often, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The medical condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, happens when stomach acid travels back and forth into the tube that connects your mouth and stomach (esophagus). The lining of your esophagus might become irritated by backwash, often known as acid reflux.
The esophagus and the stomach are also called the “gastroesophageal system.” The term “reflux” literally means “to flow back” or “return.” The condition known as gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the stomach contents move upward into the esophagus.
During the process of regular digestion, the lower esophageal sphincter, sometimes referred to as the LES, relaxes, therefore enabling food to pass into the stomach. After this, the sphincter will constrict, so blocking food and the acidic substances produced by the stomach from reaching the esophagus once again.
It is possible for gastroesophageal reflux disease to develop if the LES is not strong enough or if it relaxes at inappropriate times . As a consequence of this, the contents of the stomach are able to travel into the esophagus. When this occurs, you will feel as if there is a fire burning in the middle of your body, starting from the inside and working its way out.
Heartburn is the most often experienced symptom of GERD (acid indigestion). Pain in the chest, generally burning, originates beneath the breastbone and travels up the front of the body, eventually reaching the throat and neck. Several individuals report that it seems like food is coming back into their mouths, leaving them with a taste that is either acidic or unpleasant.
The discomfort caused by heartburn, whether burning, pressure, or pain, may continue for up to two hours. It is often worse after I have eaten. Moreover, lying down or leaning over might aggravate heartburn symptoms. Many patients find that standing upright or taking an antacid that removes the acid from their esophagus helps them feel better.
The following is a list of other symptoms of GERD:
- Acid regurgitation (re-tasting your food after eating)
- Swallowing may be difficult or painful due to the condition.
- A sudden increase in the amount of saliva
- recurrent pain in the throat
- Hoarseness or a case of laryngitis
- Inflammation of the gums (in medical terms)
- Having bad breath
- A persistent or ongoing hacking cough
- Chest pain
If you suffer from both asthma and GERD, taking care of your GERD will make it easier to manage your asthma symptoms. According to several studies, patients who received treatment for their reflux illness noticed an improvement in their asthma symptoms and a reduction in the amount of asthma medication they required.
Alterations to one’s way of life that might help cure GERD include:
- Raise the head of the bed by six to eight inches.
- Reduce your weight.
- Put down the cigarette and drink less booze.
- Reduce the number of your portions, and stay away from big dinners.
- Do not recline for at least two to three hours after you have eaten.
- Reduce how much caffeine you consume.
- Steer clear of the theophylline (if possible)
In addition, your gastroenterologist may suggest drugs to treat reflux disease or alleviate the symptoms. Antacids and H2 blockers are available without a prescription and may help reduce the harmful effects of stomach acid. Acid production may be stopped by medications called proton pump inhibitors, which also have the potential to be helpful.
Surgery is an option when other treatment options, such as medicine, have failed.
A history of your signs and symptoms and a physical examination may help your healthcare professional identify gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Your physician may offer the following tests to confirm a diagnosis of GERD or to screen for potential complications:
The endoscope is a thin, flexible tube fitted with a light and camera and inserted down the patient’s throat by the attending physician. Thanks to the endoscope, your healthcare professional can observe what’s going on within your esophagus and stomach. When reflux is present, it is possible that test results will not reveal any issues; nevertheless, an endoscopy may identify inflammation of the esophagus (also known as esophagitis) or other consequences.
Endoscopy is sometimes combined with a biopsy, which removes a small piece of tissue to diagnose issues like Barrett’s esophagus. During this treatment, the esophagus may sometimes be stretched or dilated, depending on whether or not a constriction is seen in the esophagus. This is done to help ease swallowing difficulties (dysphagia).
pH Probe Analysis using Ambulatory Testing.
A monitor will be inserted in your esophagus to determine when stomach acid will regurgitate there and for how long it will do so. The display is connected to a portable computer that may be worn around the user’s waist or slung over their shoulder and secured with a strap.
The monitor is a catheter, which is a small, flexible tube that is put through your nose and into your esophagus. Instead, a clip might be inserted into your esophagus during the endoscopic procedure. After about two days, the clip will be passed into your stool.
Radiograph of the Top part of the Digestive System.
Once you have consumed a chalky substance that covers and fills the interior lining of your digestive system, an X-ray will be taken of you. Because of the covering, your physician can see a silhouette of your stomach and esophagus. Those who have difficulty swallowing may benefit tremendously from this technique.
You could also be asked to take a barium pill, which is used to diagnose a narrowing of the esophagus that might make it difficult for you to swallow.
Manometry of the esophagus.
This test will measure the rhythmic muscular contractions in your esophagus as you swallow. In addition to measuring coordination and force, esophageal manometry assesses how well your esophageal muscles can contract. This procedure is usually performed on patients who have difficulty swallowing.
The purpose of this examination is to determine whether or not your esophagus has been damaged. A small, flexible tube containing a video camera is inserted via the nasal passages, down the back of the throat, and into the patient’s esophagus. A video screen receives the images that are captured by the camera.
Please note that the material presented in this article is intended only for the purpose of providing general information. If you’re experiencing any kind of pain, you should seek the counsel of your gastroenterologist right once. The material shown in this article was gathered from a variety of different sources; nevertheless, we do not claim ownership of any rights associated with the contents and information presented on the site. The original owner retains ownership of any and all rights.