GERD Symptoms, Causes, and Appropriate Treatment

GERD Symptoms, Causes, and Appropriate Treatment

GERD Symptoms, Causes, and Appropriate Treatment -Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a digestive tract disorder that occurs due to stomach acid rising into the esophagus.

As an illustration, under normal conditions, the contents in the stomach should move in one direction, namely downwards. However, in GERD sufferers, the stomach contents rise upward until they reach the esophagus.

When the acid is not where it should be, MIKA’s friends will definitely feel uncomfortable. The reason is that this acid can injure the tissue in the esophagus, including the stomach to the chest and throat.

Here is an explanation of the symptoms and how to deal with GERD.

GERD symptoms

The following are some common symptoms that occur when someone experiences GERD:

  • Burning sensation in the chest
  • Regurgitation (food that goes into the stomach, goes back up to the mouth)
  • Pain in the stomach and chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sensation as if there is a lump in the throat
  • Cough
  • Inflammation of the larynx (the part of the respiratory system that plays a role in producing voice)
  • If you have asthma, the symptoms get worse

Causes of GERD

Under normal conditions, the lower esophagus opens to allow food to enter the stomach. Then, the esophagus closes again to stop food and acid in the stomach from coming back up.

However, when the lower esophagus is weak or loose at the wrong time, stomach acid and stomach contents will come back up.

There are several risk factors that can make this happen. Are as follows:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Eating large amounts or eating late at night
  • Eating certain foods, such as fatty or fried foods
  • Drink alcoholic beverages
  • Drinking coffee
  • Taking certain medications, such as aspirin

Diagnosis GERD

To diagnose GERD, doctors can perform the following examination methods.

1. Endoscopy

In an endoscopic examination , the doctor will insert a small tube equipped with a camera into the throat. That way, the doctor can see the condition of your esophagus.

2. X-Ray

The doctor will perform an  x-ray  or X-ray scan of your esophagus and stomach area. To clarify the scan results, you will also be asked to drink contrast fluid.

3. Manometer

The manometry examination method is used to measure the rhythm of esophageal muscle contractions when you swallow food. The goal is so that the doctor can find out the condition of your esophageal valve, whether it is still functioning well or not.

Usually this examination is done if you have difficulty swallowing.

4. Esophagoscopy

Almost similar to endoscopy, the esophaguscopy method uses a small tube and camera that is inserted into the body. The difference is, in this method, the tube and camera are inserted through the nose, then moved into the esophagus.

How to Treat GERD

There are several methods that can be used to treat GERD. Are as follows:

1. Medicines

One of the main drugs to treat GERD is  H2 blockers . Quoting  The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association , this drug can reduce stomach acid levels by inhibiting histamine stimulation.

Histamine is a substance in the body that plays a role in triggering the production of stomach acid.

Apart from that, GERD can also be treated using several types of medication, including:

  • Proton inhibitors
  • Baclofen
  • Antacid
  • Alginate

2. Adjust your diet

As mentioned, one of the triggers for GERD is an unhealthy diet. Therefore, to overcome GERD so that it does not come back is to adopt a healthy diet.

You can change your diet in the following ways:

  • Avoid foods and drinks that trigger stomach acid to rise (for example: chocolate, mint leaves, fatty foods, coffee and alcoholic drinks)
  • Avoid foods that have the potential to irritate the injured lining of the esophagus (for example: orange fruit and juice, processed tomatoes and pepper)
  • Consume food in small portions
  • It is best to eat two or three hours before bed so that the acid in the stomach goes down and the stomach is partially empty
  • Eat slowly

3. Maintain an Ideal Weight

Unhealthy eating patterns accompanied by obesity can worsen GERD symptoms.

Therefore, you must maintain your ideal body weight. If your body weight is in the obesity category, you should immediately start a diet program.

The diet program includes consuming healthy foods and exercise.

4. Operation

Surgery is the last treatment if there is no improvement after receiving drug therapy.

Consult a Gastroenterohepatology Specialist

If left unchecked, GERD can trigger inflammation in the esophagus and surrounding area.

Before this happens, if you experience symptoms of GERD, it is better to immediately consult a gastroenterologist.

A gastroenterologist will provide treatment recommendations to make your digestive tract healthy again.

To make consultation easier, MIKA Friends can  make an appointment with a doctor  online  via  the Mitra Keluarga website  or the MIKA application which can be downloaded on the Play Store and App Store.

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