Acid Reflux or GERD: What I Need to Know, Do and Watch Out?

Acid reflux or GERD (“Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease”) is reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. This usually occurs due to a weak or “loose” sphincter muscle between the lower end of esophagus and the stomach. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn (burning sensation in chest), sour or acid taste in mouth, swallowing problem, vomiting, chest pain, sensation of lump in throat, hoarse voice, asthma or cough. 

A few things you can do to improve acid reflux symptoms:

You may use over-the-counter antacids or acid-reducing medications for mild GERD. Avoid prolonged use of these medications due to risk of adverse effects. 

You should see a gastroenterologist if you have:

Your GI doctor may recommend an upper endoscopy exam to determine damage and severity of GERD. During endoscopy, your doctor will also check for Barrett’s esophagus which results from repeated acid damage to the lining of esophagus. If you are diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, you will require periodic endoscopy to monitor for cancer of esophagus. 

If you have any questions, please contact us to schedule a consultation and discuss your symptoms. 

 

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Author
Dr. Murtaza Arif

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