Multispeciality and Family Care Clinics

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic condition in which the stomach acid and contents flow back into the esophagus, causing various symptoms and potential complications. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscle located between the esophagus and stomach, normally prevents the backward flow of stomach acid. However, in people with GERD, the LES is weakened or relaxes inappropriately, allowing acid to reflux into the esophagus.

Symptoms of GERD can vary but commonly include

1. Heartburn: A burning sensation or discomfort in the chest, often after eating or when lying down.
2. Regurgitation: The sensation of acid or food coming back up into the throat or mouth.
3. Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing or a sensation of food getting stuck in the chest or throat.
4. Chest pain: May resemble heart-related chest pain, but GERD-related chest pain is not usually accompanied by sweating, shortness of breath, or radiating pain.
5. Chronic cough: A persistent, dry cough that may worsen when lying down or at night.
6. Hoarseness or sore throat: Caused by the irritation of stomach acid on the throat lining.
7. Laryngitis: Inflammation of the voice box, leading to hoarseness or loss of voice.

Treatment for GERD typically involves lifestyle modifications, medications, and in severe cases, surgery.

1. Avoiding trigger foods and beverages.
2. Eating smaller, more frequent meals.
3. Not lying down or going to bed immediately after meals.
4. Elevating the head of the bed to reduce nighttime reflux.
5. Losing weight if overweight or obese.
6. Quitting smoking.
Medications commonly used to treat GERD include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These medications help reduce the production of stomach acid or neutralize it.

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