Gerd

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) occurs when stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus (the muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach).

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious, chronic or long lasting form of GER. GER that occurs more than twice a week for a few weeks could be GERD, which over time can lead to more serious health problems.

Symptoms

The main symptom of GERD is frequent heartburn, though some adults with GERD do not have heartburn. Other common GERD symptoms include

  • a dry, chronic cough
  • wheezing
  • asthma and recurrent pneumonia
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • a sore throat, hoarseness, or laryngitis—swelling and irritation of the voice box
  • difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing
  • pain in the chest or the upper part of the abdomen
  • dental erosion and bad breath

Causes

GERD occurs when the anti-reflux mechanisms at the junction between the esophagus and the stomach do not work properly. This may be due to a weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter that is supposed to close off the esophagus from the stomach and stop acid reflux from happening.

How is GERD diagnosed?

  • If a patient experiences heartburn at least twice a week, GERD is usually suspected.
  • The doctor will carry out a careful review of symptoms.
  • History Endoscopy may be used to confirm suspected diagnosis. However, less than 50% of patients with GERD have diagnostic endoscopic abnormalities.

Treatment

  • PPIs
  • H2 blockers
  • Antacids