GERD Awareness Week

GERD Awareness Week

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a common digestive problem that affects over 18 million people each year. Esophageal cancer can be very painful for those impacted and can cause damage to the esophagus over time if not treated. Some people experience symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, and bloating when they have GERD.

Heartburn is a common problem with the digestive system that can be caused by problems with the stomach or small intestine. This can cause pain and difficulty with swallowing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Other potential symptoms of laryngitis include chronic throat pain, chest pain, bad breath, gum inflammation, and excess saliva.

Many people with GERD experience at least one symptom. The diagnosis of GERD typically begins with a physical examination where symptoms will be discussed. If the doctor believes more tests are needed to confirm GERD is present, they may order one or more of the following:


Upper Endoscopy:

This endoscopic procedure uses an instrument to view the lining of your stomach, esophagus, and the first part of your small intestine. This allows your doctor to examine for injury and/or narrowing. An upper endoscopy can help eliminate more serious problems than GERD.

Wireless PH Reflux Testing:

This diagnostic method monitors your reflux activity over 48 hours by placing a small chip in your lower esophagus that will record your acid levels and transmit that data to a device worn on your person. This information can help to identify whether or not you are refluxing and help to improve your overall reflux care.

24-Hour PH Impedance Reflux Testing:

This involves a small, acid-sensitive catheter that is placed into your esophagus through your nose. The catheter is used to measure how much acid is in your esophagus. This information is used to help diagnose and treat problems with your esophagus. This device will measure the flow of liquid from your stomach to your esophagus for one day.

Esophageal Manometry:

This test uses a pressure-sensitive catheter to measure the strength and coordination of esophageal muscle contractions. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that is caused by the reflux of stomach acids and stomach contents into the esophagus. This can lead to GERD symptoms, such as heartburn.

Barium esophagogram:

This type of X-ray uses a contrast material to see if there are any abnormalities in the stomach. Evaluating the coordination of your esophageal motor function can help identify any issues that may be causing difficulty with the function. If you have been diagnosed with GERD, your doctor will determine the best treatment for you. Some people with symptoms may find lifestyle changes helpful, such as losing weight, wearing loose-fitting clothing, elevating their bed, limiting the size of meals in the evening, and decreasing alcohol and caffeine consumption. Doctors may also recommend over-the-counter H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, and antacids to help reduce pain and discomfort. They may prescribe stronger antacids to help reduce the symptoms. Alternatively, they may recommend other treatments to help reduce the symptoms. In more serious cases, surgery may be a necessary step.


There are a few things that you can do to help prevent GERD symptoms from happening.

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Eating small frequent meals will help you feel fuller and avoid overindulging in food. If you want to reduce your fat intake, try reducing the amount of butter, oils, salad dressings, gravy, fatty meats, and full-fat dairy products you eat or drink. Eating while sitting or standing upright can help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots. Before bed, don't eat any food. This will help you get a good night's sleep. Wear loose, comfortable clothes that aren’t tight in the belly area. Tight clothing can cause negative consequences for your stomach and esophagus, such as acid reflux. Consider raising the head of the bed with blocks under the bedposts six to eight inches to make it easier to get in and out. Additional pillows won't help. If you want to achieve long-term health, Quit Smoking. I will take any medication my healthcare provider prescribes to me as directed. Eliminate possible trigger foods.

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