(GERD) Gastroesophageal reflux
What is gastroesophageal reflux?
When you swallow, food passes down your throat and through your esophagus to your stomach. When this muscle fails to close the opening, the stomach’s contents can move back into the esophagus, especially if you are lying down. This backward movement is called esophageal reflux. When stomach acid enters the lower part of the esophagus, it can produce a “burning” sensation, usually called “heartburn.”
Three things to remember about gastroesophageal reflux:
How can I treat this cause of heartburn?:
Many people find that following these recommendations brings relief from heartburn and the pressure of esophageal reflux.
If GERD is left untreated it can lead to other problems such as:
Diagnostic tools include upper GI x-ray, endoscopy, and/or 24-hour acid test. Lifestyle adjustment, medication, and surgery are three phases of treatment. Usually phases 1 and 2 are so effective that phase 3 is not required. A small percentage of patients eventually require surgery. Since this is considered major surgery and the outcome is not always a guarantee of improvement, this option should be considered with great care. Your gastroenterologist and surgeon will certainly discuss all options with you.