Understanding GERD


 | 1 minute to read
Do you feel pain in your throat or a burning sensation in the stomach when you wake up?

Or Do you feel some sort of chest pain or feel heaviness after food especially at night? Caution!! It can be GERD. What is GERD? GERD or in other words, a frequent symptom of GER (Gastroesophageal reflux) is a very common digestive disorder resulting from reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. GERD is commonly known as • Acid indigestion • Acid regurgitation • Heartburn • Acid reflux How common is GERD? GERD is found to affect all age groups. According to IJHCR (International Journal of Health and Clinical Research) prevalence of GERD is around 33% and higher prevalence among people aged more than 40. It also occurs in children. What causes GERD? It affects the ring muscle between the esophagus and stomach which we call the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). During normal food digestion, the LES relaxes to allow food to go into the stomach. The food stimulates the stomach cells to produce acid and pepsin (enzyme) for digestion. Here LES acts as a firewall to prevent the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. GERD happens when the barrier weakens or relaxes at an inappropriate time or with too much acid in the stomach. People who can be affected by GERD 1.Older age people 2 Being overweight or obesity 3 Associated with smoking, anxiety, depression 4 Associated with a sedentary lifestyle. 5 Eating too soon before the bed Common Symptoms The most common and classic symptom of GERD is heartburn. It is a burning sensation in the chest, diffusing towards the neck and throat, as reflux of acidic reflux into the esophagus. It is also associated with regurgitations related to sour taste in the back of the mouth But apart from the above two, numerous common symptoms have been associated with GERDS. These symptoms vary from person to person • Sour taste or Bad breath • Frequent irritation in the throat • Gums inflammation • Difficulty or pain while swallowing food • Vomiting feeling • Nausea • Troubled Breathing • Vomiting • Wearing away of tooth enamel These all symptoms vary from person to person. Diet and Lifestyle modification to reduce the symptoms of GERD 1. Weight loss: - It has been found that most of the obese people who followed a structured weight loss program had reduced their GERD symptom or completely eradicated it. 2. Diet: - Avoid foods that can relax the LES including chocolate, fatty foods, caffeinated drinks and that can damage esophageal linings such as citrus fruits, tomato products 3. Eat smaller servings and complete your food 2-3 hours before sleeping especially for those having nocturnal GERD symptoms 4. Stop Smoking – Smoking affects the LES thus weakening the barrier 5. Sleep Position: - Elevating the head of the bed shown to reduce acid exposure times to esophagus thus reducing the probability of heartburn. Conclusion GERD is common digestive problem that can mostly cured by the modification of lifestyle, diet and medication but if it is ignored or not treated, it may lead to complication. Picture Credit https://www.medanta.org/patient-education-blog/is-it-heartburn-or-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-gerd/ References https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults/definition-facts https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140167/ https://www.ccjm.org/content/87/4/223

Pooja Vishwakarma

struggle for weight gain with gerd😢

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