What is GERD and How Can It Be Managed?
If you’re one of the many Suwanee GA residents who suffer from indigestion and heartburn, you’re not alone. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition in which stomach acid and other stomach contents flow back into the esophagus. This can result in a number of symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and a sour taste in the mouth. In this article, we will look at the causes of GERD and offer advice on how to manage the symptoms.
The Causes of GERD
A variety of factors can contribute to the development of GERD. Among the most common are:
• Hiatal hernia: When the upper part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest, the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus weakens.
• Obesity: Being overweight or obese puts more pressure on the stomach and the muscle that separates the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter), allowing acid to flow back into the esophagus.
• Pregnancy: Hormones produced during pregnancy can relax the muscle that separates the esophagus and stomach, allowing acid to flow back into the esophagus more easily.
• Medications: Aspirin, ibuprofen, and some antidepressants can irritate the esophagus and contribute to the development of GERD.
• Lifestyle factors: Eating large meals, eating late at night, eating certain foods (such as chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods), and smoking are all risk factors for GERD.
GERD Symptom Management
There are several steps you can take to manage GERD symptoms and reduce acid reflux frequency. • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese • Avoiding foods that cause your symptoms
• Eating smaller, more frequent meals; avoiding late-night eating; avoiding lying down immediately after eating; quitting smoking; wearing loose-fitting clothing; raising the head of your bed; and taking over-the-counter antacids or acid reducers as directed.
Consultation with a Gastroenterologist
In some cases, your healthcare provider may also prescribe medication to help manage your symptoms, such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 receptor blockers. If your symptoms persist or become severe, you should seek further evaluation and treatment from your healthcare provider. A gastroenterologist, like Dr. Sumanna Moole, can treat your GERD symptoms and perform a gut screening to rule out any underlying problems. Finally, GERD is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. You can reduce the frequency of acid reflux and improve your quality of life by understanding the causes of GERD and taking the necessary steps to manage symptoms. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or if your symptoms persist. Suwanee, GA gut doctors are here to help you with GERD and other gut-related issues.