Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Dr Prajakta Jadhav
Dr Prajakta Jadhav

 | 1 minute to read
Injury prevention & Rehab
I experience HEART BURN, REGURGITATION ISSUE ALWAYS! I have GERD !

Have you been experiencing burning pain in the chest ? Recurrent regurgitation? nausea or vomiting ? If yes! Read further. What is GERD and acid reflux? Acid reflux happens when contents from your stomach move up into your esophagus. It’s also called acid regurgitation or gastroesophageal reflux. If you have symptoms of ‘acid reflux’ more than 2 times a week, you might have a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), GERD affects about 20 percent of people. Females are at higher risk than males. It is one of the biggest challenge in determining the number of people living with GERD. Many people with GERD symptoms don’t consult a healthcare professionals, If left untreated, it can sometimes cause serious complications like esophagitis. This can cause bleeding ulcers, and chronic scarring. This scarring can narrow the esophagus, eventually interfering with your ability to swallow. What actually happens in GERD ? The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a circular band of muscle at the end of your esophagus. When it’s working properly, it relaxes and opens when you swallow. Then it tightens and closes again afterwards. Acid reflux happens when your LES doesn’t tighten or close properly. This allows digestive juices and other contents from your stomach to rise up into your esophagus. Who are more prone to GERD ? Certain conditions can increase your chances of developing GERD, 1. obesity- In patients with GERD, higher BMI was associated with more severe and more frequent reflux symptoms and esophagitis. 2. IBS- people suffering from IBS from long enough are more prone to GERD. 3. pregnancy- Due to increased abdominal pressure during pregnancy it gives rise to GERD symptoms. 4. Hiatal hernia- condition where an opening in the diaphragm allow the top of the stomach move up into thoracic cavity. This lowers the pressure in the esophageal sphincter and raises the risk of GERD. 5.Anxiety- Recurrent gastric symptoms tends to increase the level of anxiety and decrease the quality of life. 6.Age- People between 20-30 years were observed to have GERD at higher rate. Some lifestyle behaviors can also raise your risk of GERD, including: 1. Tobacco smoking 2. consuming large meals 3. Keeping larger fasting window 4. lying down or going to sleep shortly after eating 5. eating certain types of foods, such as deep fried or spicy foods 6. drinking certain types of beverages, such as soda, coffee, or alcohol. 7. Excess salt consumption 8.Recurrent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin or ibuprofen GERD common symptoms: The main symptom of GERD is heartburn. •Heartburn is particularly discomfort felt around the chest region especially burning sensation. It tends to get worse if the person lies down or bends over, and also after eating food. However, not all people with GERD experience heartburn, and there are other possible symptoms: •Recurrent regurgitation •nausea or vomiting •abdominal cramping •bad breath •respiratory problems •difficulty or pain when swallowing The intensity and frequency of the symptoms will differ on how well you take care of it. What to do when one is suffering from GERD To prevent and relieve symptoms of GERD, one need to essentially make changes in their dietary habits and lifestyle behaviour. Diet and GERD In some people, certain types of foods and beverages trigger symptoms of GERD. Common dietary triggers include: •high-fat foods •spicy foods, onion, ginger, garlic. •chocolate •citrus fruit- Orange, Lemons, •tomato and food containing tomatoes. beverages like- coffee, tea soda, other carbonated beverages. Dietary triggers may vary person to person. Close monitoring will help to identify the exact GERD triggers. LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION for GERD There are several lifestyle changes that may help lower GERD symptoms. lifestyle modifications are currently used as first-line treatment for one with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), 1. Eat moderate amount of food in each meal. 2. Divide all the meals evenly throughout the day. 3. Avoid overeating or overconsumption. 4. Refrain from fasting. 3. Eat dinner2 to 3 hours before sleeping. 4. Refrain from having late night snacks. 5. Quit or avoid smoking. Also do not be a passive smoker. 6.Ingestion of commonly consumed alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer induces gastro‐oesophageal reflux in patients with GERD. Therefore, it is advised to limit the intake intake (≥300 mL) of these beverages. 7. If a person is overweight, losing weight can help prevent symptoms. 8. Diet modifications- Diet rich in fiber and low in fat, is advisable in preventing reflux symptoms. 9. Moderate physical activity seems to be beneficial for GERD, while vigorous activity may be dangerous in predisposed individuals. 10. Sleep at a slight angle with the head slightly elevated. This may benefit in some people. Conclusion Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the complications associated with it like esophagitis are very common. Dietary and lifestyle factors may play a major role in the pathogenesis or course of GERD. In practice, however, the treatment of GERD is oriented toward the individual’s symptoms, intensity and frequency of the triggers. Therefore it is highly advisable- To prepare a log of food items and lifestyle behaviours that triggers GERD and staying away from them. This will help to reduce the symptoms on a larger extent. Picture credits: harrisonfc.com https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:Z-TE7ZarU1oJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DBzLiMh-JRUkJ https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:Z-TE7ZarU1oJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D1mjyiKdFhcUJ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1440-1746.2006.04549.x https://gut.bmj.com/content/53/12/1730.short https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.02922.x https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2668774/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042219/
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Shreya Kanuru

hi, I'm suffering from acid reflux since 3 months now. can I connect with you in the chat ?

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