Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
-Gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD is a common condition where very acidic juices in the stomach flows back up into your esophagus, which is a non-acidic environment causing symptoms and complications. In the western world, 10-20% of patients are affected by GERD.
-Symptoms include abdominal pain, chest pain, heartburn, irritation, difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing, bad breath, a metallic/sour taste in your mouth, cramping and heartburn. Complications include inflammation of the esophagus, Barrett's esophagus, ulcers, strictures and esophageal cancer.
-Gastroesophageal reflux disease is most commonly due to inadequate closure of the lower esophageal sphincter (the door that keeps the esophagus separate from the stomach) which is located in the gastroesophageal junction. This is most commonly due to anatomical abnormalities such as a hiatal hernia, obesity, medications, smoking and diet.
-Patients can often find relief with lifestyle modification and over the counter products. Lifestyle modifications include weight loss, not laying down for 2 hours after having a meal, better diet compliance and cessation of smoking. An endoscopy is often needed for further guidance and in cases where patients dont respond to initial management or have alarm symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing, bleeding, anemia, weight loss or new onset in older age. If you are having issues with gastric reflux, call our office and make an appointment to see Dr. Tenembaum or Dr. Aviles today.