Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition whereby the acids which help in the digestion of the food reflux into the esophagus. Due to this condition the esophagus become inflamed and you get irritated feeling. The ring of muscle called sphincter which is present at the bottom of the esophagus helps in preventing reflux.
Symptoms of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) :
The most common gastroesophageal reflux disease symptom is heartburn. The other symptoms include dry cough which is persistent, hoarseness in the voice which is usually observed in the morning hours, wheezing, tightened feeling in the throat. For children the gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms could range from repeated vomiting bouts to coughing and respiratory complications. The gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms which should never be ignored are Vomiting blood, vomiting accompanied with severe pain in the chest, dark stools.
Causes of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) :
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is caused due to various reasons. Our sedentary lifestyle, certain medications, our diet schedule, and other medical conditions are some factors which could lead to GERD. Too much consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, fatty and fried foods, caffeine, tea, spicy foods, pregnancy, diabetes, medications like calcium channel blockers, nitrates, antihistamines also lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Diagnosis of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) :
An upper GI series of X-rays of esophagus, stomach and upper part of the intestine would help doctor to diagnose Gastroesophageal reflux disease. EGD or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, esophageal manometry are some other tests performed.
Treatment for Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) :
Now we come on gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment. The goal is to reduce the acid from going back in to the esophagus. if antacids do not work, the doctor might prescribe some medication like Proton Pump Inhibitors which include Omeprazole, lansoprazole. These pump inhibitors block the production of enzyme which produce stomach acid. Then there are coating agents which help in coating the mucous membrane and sores. It acts as a barrier against stomach acid. But if changes in lifestyle, diet and habits and even medication do not help, the doctor might think of surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment. Fundoplication is the operation which involves increasing pressure in the lower esophagus to help prevent the acid from going back in the esophagus.