Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

1. What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

Gastroesophageal Reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where there is reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus due to the weak lower esophageal sphincter (Valve between the esophagus and stomach which prevents the reflux)

2. What are the symptoms of GERD?

Patient with GERD can present with heart burn and regurgitation commonly. Less commonly they can also present with chest pain and dysphagia

3. What are the extraesophageal syndromes associated with GERD?

GERD has also established an association with a chronic cough, laryngitis, asthma, and dental erosions

4. What are the other common conditions which can present like GERD?

Coronary artery disease, peptic ulcer diesease, esophageal motility disorder, functional dyspepsia.

5. How do we investigate GERD?

Most of the patients are diagnosed clinically by typical symptoms. Some patients who are not responding to the treatment is investigated using upper GI endoscopy. It is also useful in ruling out other causes like peptic ulcer disease which can present like GERD. ECG is also done commonly to rule our coronary heart disease which can mimic GERD

6. What are the common lifestyle changes useful in the treatment of GERD?

Weight reduction, avoiding food before retiring to bed, head end elevation while sleeping, avoidance of food which increases the reflux like fatty food, alcohol, tea, coffee, tomato-based food and avoid of food which can increase the irritation like spicy food

7. What is the medical management of GERD?

Patients are treated with drugs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) which reduces the acid secretion

8. What are the surgical options available?

Patients who are not responding to medical treatment can consider surgical options like Laparoscopic Fundoplication

9. What are the common complications of untreated GERD?

Long term complications of GERD are esophageal stricture and adenocarcinoma

10. Whom should you consult when you have symptoms of GERD?

You can consult a General practitioner, Internal Medicine Specialist or a Gastroenterologist for the treatment for GERD symptoms

 

Dr. Ram Kumar
Specialist Internal Medicine
Thumbay Clinic, Abu Shagara

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