GERD is one of the common digestive disorders that affect the muscle between the stomach and esophagus, otherwise also called “lower esophageal sphincter (LES)”. In more simpler terms, this is known as heartburn, which is caused due to many factors. Experts like Dr. Guru Reddy often suggest lifestyle changes to patients, which helps in getting long-term relief, while in some cases, medication or surgery might be required.
Here are some of the things you need to know.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is caused because the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t function normally. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is meant to allow the food to pass to the stomach. It closes in time to prevent the stomach acid and food from flowing back to the esophagus. GERD occurs when LES doesn’t work in the normal way or is weak. The contents of the stomach, mainly the acidic juices, flows back to the esophagus, causing heartburn. Please note that heartburn has nothing to do with heart disease. Patients who have hiatal hernia may suffer from GERD, as experts believe that the condition can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
Factors and symptoms
In most cases, GERD is triggered by lifestyle and diet choices. People who drink more coffee and aerated drinks or have too much chocolate and similar products may suffer from heartburn. Obesity, smoking, and pregnancy may also have some impact on the LES and can cause heartburn from time to time. The disease is called heartburn because it causes a burning chest pain, which is not same as pain caused by stroke. Your mouth may feel acidic, and the pain can last for an hour or more.
The treatment for GERD is mostly based on reducing acid reflux, and therefore, lifestyle and diet changes are frequently suggested. Based on the frequency of pain, your doctor may have a list of do’s and don’ts. Certain foods and beverages that can impact the LES must be avoided, including peppermint, coffee and processed foods. Patients may suffer from GERD due to different foods, so the suggestions and treatments can vary. If the acid reflux case is severe, patients might be advised surgery, which is usually the last resort for the treatment.
If you have frequent heartburns, talk to your doctor, who can suggest the right ways of get diagnosed. Follow the norms and suggestions for diet changes, and you would do better in a short time.