Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Nearly everyone has experienced heartburn at some point in their life which some confuse for acid reflux disease, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). While heartburn is common, GERD can cause major repercussions to your health. It is important to note your symptoms and monitor their frequency. Heartburn is caused when gastric acid from your stomach refluxes into your esophagus from your stomach causing a burning sensation in either the chest or throat. When this acid indigestion is frequent, it can cause inflammation in the esophagus from the inability of acid to remain in the stomach. These are indicators that the sensation is more chronic and in most cases, presenting as GERD. It is highly important to be able to determine if you are experience heartburn or acid reflux as this damage to the esophagus if untreated can cause severe health issues or even cancer. The esophageal muscles are unable to function properly and keep acid down, causing bad breath, tooth enamel damage, chest pain, and trouble swallowing or eating, symptoms of GERD rather than regular heartburn.
TREATMENT OPTIONS, AND RESOURCES
Regarding treatment, it ranges on the severity of the condition. Heartburn is specific to each individual depending on foods, medications, stress, and exercise lifestyle. Heartburn can be more prevalent in pregnant women, smokers, and those who are overweight. In order to alleviate your heartburn, understand what creates you heartburn and subsequently treat with over-the-counter medication or altering your lifestyle habits. To reduce heartburn stress caused by eating, take note of the fatty or spicy foods that prompt your heartburn and refrain from eating them. Eating smaller meals more frequently rather than larger meals throughout longer time frames can also help alleviate the stress on your body. Focus on eating slower and try to refrain from lying down immediately after eating. When sleeping, you can raise the head of your bed to elevate your body and prevent stomach acid from traveling up. Lifestyle changes can include losing weight, quitting smoking, and maintaining a calm, stress-free lifestyle. If these symptoms persist, seek out over-the-counter medication or visit your physician as there may be need for a procedure.
EXPERTS IN ELIMINATING HEARTBURN
Georgia Surgicare offers both minimally invasive and intensive approaches to GERD treatments. Focused on patient satisfaction, our procedures ensure fully functioning results. At Georgia Surgicare, we offer many procedures that can help accurately diagnose GERD. These include upper GI endoscopy to see inside your upper GI tract, upper GI series, Esophageal pH and impedance monitoring to measures the amount of acid in your esophagus while you do normal things, and incision-less therapies such as TIF (Esophyx) and Stretta. As far as surgical procedures, Fundoplication is the most common surgery for GERD. In most cases, it leads to long-term reflux control. Other procedures include endoscopic sewing and radio frequency. If you are experiencing symptoms of GERD or chronic heartburn, schedule a consult with Georgia Surgicare today!