What is G E R D?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter(LES)opens and does not close properly causing the stomach contents to rise up the esophagus.

The digestive system (16157)


Mechanism
The esophagus is the tube that takes food to the stomach.The LES is the ring of muscle that acts like a valve between the esophagus and the stomach.When acid reflux occurs, the individual can taste the food or fluid in the back of the mouth.
However, it is normal but if there is persistent reflux more than twice a week then that is considered G E R D. It can lead to more complicated health problems.

G E R D mucosa lining presentation

G E R D in advances stage (16159)


Signs and symptoms
In adults:-
A burning sensation in the lower part of the mid-chest,behind the breast born and in the mid abdomen.
In advanced stages, difficulties to keep food down and may result in dental erosion
In children:-
Difficulties in swallowing or Asthma symptoms,dry cough.
CAUSES
The actual cause of G E R D is not known but there are underlying factors like:-

  • Obesity
  • Food allergies but with no scientific back up so far.
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Acidic foods
Avoid foods that cause G E R D

Citrus fruits
  • Oranges
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemonade
Meat
  • Chicken with lemon
  • round meat
  • Chicken nuggets
Spices
  • Mexican food
  • pepper
  • Chili
  • Mint
  • Raw onions and garlic
Diary
  • Sour cream
  • Milkshake
  • Ice cream
Sweets and desserts

  • Chocolate
  • Butter cookies
  • Corn chips
  • Doughnut
Beverages
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Sodas with caffeine
Grains
  • Macaroni with cheese
  • Spaghetti with sauce
Fats and oils
  • Salad dressings with oil and vinegar
TREATMENT
This is categorized into three:-
  1. Life style modification
  2. Dietary modification
  3. Medication
Dietary modification:-
-Avoid eating foods that make it worse especially on an empty stomach. Eat at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.
-Maintain a normal body weight.

Life style modification:-
-Stop smoking
-Avoid tight fitting clothes for around the abdominal cavity for the obese individuals
-Sleep on your left side of the body and while elevating the head,chest higher than the lower part of the body.
Medical modification:-
-There are many over the counter Antacids that can relief heart burn but those that are Calcium hydroxide based work excellently and the Aluminum hydroxide ones are known to increase the acidity of the stomach.
-Alginic acid or Gaviscon works well because it cots the mucosa,increases the PH or stomach alkalinity and relieves pain
-During pregnacy,Antacids like Ranitidine is commonly prescribed.
-Surgery might also be the only solution in other cases.
These tips have worked for many,if put to great use. It's a gradual process.


Regards,

Tunnie