Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Dallas, TX
Ready to Consult a GI Physician?Find a Provider
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, often referred to as GERD, is a term used to illustrate what we see as the consequence of the common presentation of acid reflux. Acid reflux refers to a singular occurrence or instance of acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus, known as heartburn.
Someone is typically diagnosed with GERD when acid reflux happens in mild cases one or fewer times a week or when moderate-to-severe acid reflux is experienced at a minimum of twice a week. GERD is known to develop at any time in life, but it typically presents around age 40. When neglected, individuals have been known to later develop a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. If you think you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease, we urge you to contact Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas, TX to find a GI specialist near you.
What causes GERD?
Whenever one chooses to consume food, it migrates through the esophagus and beyond the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to then enter the stomach. Anytime the LES is compromised, it can lose strength and fail to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. Most commonly, there is not a lone cause that leads to this occurring frequently, but one is at greater risk of suffering from or developing GERD if they have any of these criteria:
- Alcohol use
- Scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder)
- Drink coffee
- Being overweight
- Consume spicy foods
- Consume large meals late at night
- Consume raw onion or garlic
- Hiatal hernia (when the upper part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm)
- Lie down often after eating
- Tobacco use
What are the main symptoms of GERD?
The main indications of GERD are quite like acid reflux but may be experienced with greater frequency. Those symptoms may include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lump-in-the-throat sensation
- Disrupted sleep
- Chest pain
- Long-term cough
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquids
- Unintentional weight loss
If you notice any of these symptoms with any frequency or are in pain, or if you take over-the-counter heartburn medication more often than two times per week, you should contact Digestive Health Associates of Texas to find a GI specialist in your area.
What are the available treatments for GERD?
Managing GERD may consist of lifestyle alterations, medical care, or both. Treatment approaches to help avoid or reduce GERD may include:
- Prescription-strength antacids (H-2 receptor blockers)
- Minimize coffee/caffeine consumption
- Sleep on an incline
- Avoid foods and drinks prone to cause acid reflux
- LINX device (magnetic beads wrapped around the junction of the stomach and esophagus)
- Avoid tobacco use
- Fundoplication (surgical procedure performed to wrap the stomach around the LES)
- Over-the-counter antacids
- Stay awake and stand up after eating
- Medication to strengthen the LES
- Inform your gastroenterologist about current medications you take
- Lose excess weight
- Eat slowly and in moderation
- Do not eat a minimum of two hours before going to bed
What is the difference between acid reflux and GERD?
The distinction between the conditions of gastroesophageal reflux disease and acid reflux is sometimes perplexing. Simply put, GERD is essentially acid reflux that occurs more often for an extended duration of time. If you experience heartburn or other symptoms every day or more than once within a week, or you experience symptoms that will not diminish with over-the-counter options, it’s possible you have gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Is there any food I should avoid if I am experiencing GERD?
If you have been diagnosed with GERD, you may be advised to avoid foods that increase the production of stomach acid. Examples include:
- Spicy foods
- Red meat
- High-fat foods
- Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, etc.)
- Salty or peppery foods
- Beverages high in caffeine
- Sugary foods
The team at Digestive Health Associates of Texas can provide additional details on foods to stay away from if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Is GERD a life-threatening disease?
GERD is not likely to be life-threatening. It could make daily tasks more uncomfortable at times, but you should be able to find a reprieve with treatment. If not treated, GERD could lead to additional GI conditions. Such concerns include esophagitis (irritation of the lining of the esophagus) and Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that may damage the esophagus (the structure that joins your mouth and stomach). Obtaining the treatment needed for GERD can help protect your general health.
How long does it take for GERD to improve after treatment?
There are a few factors that impact the time it takes to experience relief from GERD. These can include the form of medication you take, the damage that has resulted from GERD prior to diagnosis, and if you avoid foods that worsen symptoms. With proper care, the effects of GERD can lessen over time. Though you might not be able to resolve GERD fully, you will likely be able to control its symptoms.
Find relief from GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common struggle impacting the day-to-day lives of countless people. With professional treatment, however, the condition can be treated and its uncomfortable symptoms minimized. If you or someone you love suffers from GERD, the board-certified team of gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas is here to help. We encourage you to contact our office to find a GI specialist near you today!
Arrived a little early, but was taken care of in a timely manner, had recommendations to get to the issue, that I am having with acid reflux or GERD, and a pain in the stomach, I’ve had 2 scopes already and still having the same issue, Dr Macurak recommended to try something else
My daughter has been going to Dr. Jack An since she was about 5 months old. On first appointment, he diagnosed our baby with feeding aversion and GERD within 5 mins of us giving him our daughter’s history. None of the other pediatricians we went to could figure out that she has feeding aversion. Safe to say, Dr, An has been a lifesaver! We recently went to him again for a consult because our daughter (who is 2 now) is underweight. Dr. An is not only a highly experienced healthcare professional, he is great with little ones and has a bright personality. Definitely one of our favorite doctors!! It’s a pleasure meeting him every time! :)
I have been seeing Dr. Abraham for couple years for my GERD. On my first visit she took time in listening to all my symptoms and explained all my treatment options. During every visit she takes time & patiently listen to progress since last visit. She documents everything clearly and has readily available in follow-up visits - so nothing gets missed. Her staff are very nice and professional.
Love, love, love Dr. Beckman! She is always straight to the point and real with her concerns. I love that she treats me like a person and not like a number. She is the only doctor who has consistently helped me with my GERD.
I have been seeing Dr. Janz for a number of years. I have found her to be very understanding, personable and knowledgeable. The staff have always been punctual and helpful, as well.