The medical word for what most people call acid reflux disease is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD.
For acid reflux, the word “gastroesophageal” is a novel one. It has been in use for around 20 years now. The term “heartburn” was first used to describe it. However, GERD symptoms include more than just heartburn. Some other GERD signs and symptoms include regurgitation, hoarseness, laryngitis (inflammation or swelling of the voice box), a lump in the throat and chronic coughing and foul breath. GERD may go completely unnoticed in some sufferers.
In what way does GERD get started? When the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes, acid from the stomach washes back up into the oesophagus repeatedly.
The lower esophageal sphincter can relax when certain meals and beverages are consumed. Chocolate, peppermint, licorice, fattening foods, caffeinated beverages and alcohol are among the most common. Acid is allowed back into the oesophagus by barbiturates, calcium-channel blockers, Diazepam, and Sumitriptan, which relax the lower esophageal sphincter.
It is possible to control GERD with lifestyle changes as well as the use of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and even surgery. People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can improve their health by making lifestyle adjustments, such as dropping weight (if you’re overweight), cutting out high-fat foods like butter and cheese, not lying down after a big meal, and quitting smoking if you’ve been a smoker.
Diagnosing GERD can be challenging. There are a vast range of symptoms, as well as the fact that some people don’t experience any at all. Heartburn and regurgitation are the two most common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). First, doctors may give over-the-counter or prescription drugs to check whether they alleviate the symptoms before conducting testing.
X-rays with a barium swallow, an upper gastrointestinal x-ray series, an upper endoscopy, an esophageal manometry, or a 24-hour pH probe are among the diagnostic procedures that a doctor may perform if the drugs do not alleviate the symptoms. Because some tests, including as the upper endoscopy and pH probe, are intrusive and expensive, physicians may first attempt over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Following the diagnosis of GERD, a doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription drugs, as well as recommending lifestyle adjustments like those outlined previously in this article to help manage the condition. Over half of all persons who stop taking their drugs when their symptoms are under control have a relapse within a year of stopping the prescription.
There is a possibility that surgery may be required if medicine fails to reduce symptoms. Having to take drugs for the rest of one’s life can be countered by having surgery performed. Nissen fundoplication is the most common type of surgery used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The lower oesophagus is wrapped around the “fundus,” the top section of the stomach near the oesophagus. GERD can be prevented and treated by strengthening the lower oesophagus’ barrier function and addressing the major abnormality that causes it. Laparoscopic surgery is the most common kind of the procedure. It’s believed to be a relatively risk-free procedure that frequently yields positive outcomes.