Gastro – Esophageal Reflux Awareness Week | GERD
What should I be aware of ?
What is GERD ?
- First of all, heartburn is common, and occasional heartburn does not mean that there is a reflux disease
- GERD ( Gastroesophageal reflux disease ) means a flow-back of stomach content into the esophagus, throat and sometimes lungs
- That causes symptoms, like constant heartburn, throat pain, cough, and others, and it can cause permanent injury to the esophageal lining
What symptoms are concerning and should lead to a consultation with your physician
- Difficulty in swallowing, or feeling a lump
- Chest pain
- Recurring attacks of heartburn
- Symptom change: More often, more severe, wake you up at night
- Treatment does not help any more
- History of many years of recurring heartburn, more than 1 heartburn attack per week
- Cough, constant throat pain or hoarse voice
Which lifestyle is recommended for patients with GERD?
- Do not smoke
- Limit alcohol
- Season lightly
- Eat small meals, and observe a GAP of 2 – 3 hours between eating and reclining
- Avoid heavy and fatty meals
- Elevated the headrest or sleep on pillows
- Maintain a healthy weight
How to diagnose GERD?
- Talk to your physician
- In certain cases, a medication trial with specific antacids helps confirm the diagnosis, and can be the only necessary step
- In others, and endoscopy, and rarely a pHMetry (measurement of the acid level in the esophagus ) are recommended
How to treat GERD?
There are multiple options, ranging from medications which protect the esophageal lining, to antacids, to acid blockers (called Proton pump Inhibitors) , to endoscopic and surgical procedures which diminish or stop the acid reflux .
We offer the whole range of procedures here at King’s Gastroenterology clinic
Your physician will recommend a customized approach for your specific symptoms