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GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Murtaza Arif, MD -  - Gastroenterology

Katy Digestive Center

Murtaza Arif, MD

Gastroenterology located in Katy, TX

If you are one of the 20% of Americans who experience discomfort, heartburn or pain due to GERD, Murtaza Arif, MD can help. At Katy Digestive Center in Katy, Texas, Dr. Arif offers comprehensive diagnostic testing to determine the cause of acid reflux that burns your throat and makes it difficult to eat. With proper treatment, you can effectively manage GERD symptoms and prevent additional digestive health complications. Book a GERD evaluation for your acid reflux symptoms by calling the office today or schedule a visit online.

GERD Q & A

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that develops when the acid from your stomach flows back into the esophagus, the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.

This acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus, causing discomfort or pain and making it difficult to eat. You also may experience a persistent burning in your chest, known as heartburn.

Other common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Bad breath
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic cough
  • Difficulty swallowing

If you have asthma, GERD can trigger an attack, making it difficult for you to catch your breath.

While GERD isn’t life-threatening, you should seek an evaluation and treatment to prevent a worsening of your symptoms or damage to your esophagus due to frequent acid reflux.

What causes GERD?

At the bottom of your esophagus is a band of muscle that opens and closes, allowing you to swallow food and liquids. After the food passes, the muscle closes again.

When this muscle becomes weak due to age or injury, it cannot close fully. This allows stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation.

You may also be at higher risk for developing GERD due to:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Use of certain medications

Dr. Arif can evaluate your overall health and medical history to determine the cause of your acid reflux and recommend the right treatment plan. If left untreated, GERD can result in complications including esophageal ulcers, scarring, and Barrett’s esophagus, a condition where acid causes precancerous changes to the esophageal tissue.

How is GERD diagnosed?

Depending on the severity and frequency of your acid reflux symptoms, Dr. Arif may recommend an endoscopy to evaluate the damage to your esophagus due to acid reflux or GERD.

He may also recommend X-rays of your digestive tract to get a better look at your digestive tract.

What treatment options are available for GERD?

Initially, Dr. Arif may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications that neutralize stomach acids to reduce burning sensations and discomfort.

Medications are available to quickly reduce acid reflux pain already affecting you or to prevent the backflow of acid.

Surgery is often the last resort if the esophageal muscle needs repair to help it function more effectively and prevent acid reflux. Dr. Arif can recommend surgery only when your symptoms are chronic and other treatments aren’t helpful.

Don’t live with the pain of chronic GERD. Learn more about treatment options to prevent damage from acid reflux by calling the office today or using the online booking feature.