The Facts about GERD
GERD is another term for Acid Reflux Disease. It is an acronym for “Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease”, which happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing discomfort and other symptoms. One of the most common side effects of GERD is recurring heartburn, which is evidenced by a burning feeling in the general chest area, but other warning signs of GERD are often presented and can vary greatly from person to person.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn, the definitive symptom of acid reflux, is extremely common; between 42 and 64 million people in the US suffer from it. Heartburn can happen at varying times of the day, and may be brought on by a diverse array of causes.
Acid can travel up the esophagus and bring on a sour taste in the mouth, irritate the throat, and contribute to bad breath. A hiccup may also cause the acid or food to “regurgitate” into your mouth; this regurgitation can also happen when burping, bending, or lying prone. At its worst, GERD will cause severe chest pain and eventually damage the esophageal lining, which can lead to an inflammation of the esophagus called Esophagitis. Having trouble when swallowing or extreme pain in the chest could be signs of esophageal cancer or cardiac arrest, and should not be ignored.
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Why does GERD occur?
Food is digested when the stomach creates acid. This acid is normally contained in the stomach by the proper functioning of a valve called the esophageal sphincter. But if this valve is weak, acid will back up (reflux) into the esophagus and cause the burning and discomfort known as heartburn.
The Gastro-Esophageal Valve will malfunction for reasons such as excessive eating, smoking, drinking alcohol, pregnancy, certain chemicals in foods, or a hiatal hernia. As the condition progresses, the weakening will become worse as the mere action of the reflux strains the valve even more.
Why you should never disregard symptoms of GERD?
Unfortunately, GERD is a condition that will not correct itself. Even worse, the effects of acid reflux may create serious health problems. The discomfort that it causes can disrupt your work or family life, and hinder your ability to enjoy even the simplest activities. But the good news is that GERD can be successfully treated.
Expert Surgical offers solutions to end the discomfort of GERD and restore your quality of life. You can take control of your health by contacting us today for a consultation to discover the options that are best suited for you.