Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Dallas, TX

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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
  • Pregnancy
  • 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:

  • Asthma
  • Laryngitis
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lump-in-the-throat sensation
  • Bloating
  • 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
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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!

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