Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic disorder in which stomach acid frequently moves back up into the esophagus. This condition can irritate and, over time, damage the esophageal lining. If GERD is left untreated, it may lead to more serious health concerns.
GERD typically develops when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) becomes impaired. When the LES is weak or if it relaxes when it is not supposed to, stomach contents can flow back into the esophagus. Here are some factors that may increase the likelihood of getting GERD:
Common signs and symptoms of GERD include:
Various diet and lifestyle choices may aggravate GERD symptoms. These include:
Various medications may be given to patients to relieve GERD symptoms. These include:
For those with severe GERD, doctors may recommend surgery and other invasive procedures such as:
Lifestyle changes can improve symptoms and reduce the frequency of GERD episodes. Here are some tips that may help:
For those with more serious symptoms, it is recommended to consult with your doctor to assess your treatment options.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20361959
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Symptoms & causes of ger & gerd. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults/symptoms-causes
WebMD. (n.d.). Gerd: Symptoms, causes, treatments, remedies for relief. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/reflux-disease-gerd-1#091e9c5e80007c47-2-5