‘Gastroesophageal reflux disease ‘ also called ‘Acid Reflux’.
Gastric contents enters oesophagus (food pipe) due to relaxation of lower oesophageal sphincter ( prevents stomach contents from coming up into oesophagus). It normally opens up on swallowing, other time it’s closed, in GERD it’s mostly opened.
GERD is Common and most avoided disease of our body which can further lead to complications.
Symptoms of the disease are :
- Throat irritation – persisting sore throat ( more common nowadays then heat burn)
- Dysphagia- inability to swallow foods
- Feeling of a lump or foreign body in your throat
- Chronic cough
People who are at higher Risk of getting this disease :
- Taking painkillers for a long time.
- Eating junk food
- Excess of coffee, tea or Alcohol, chocolate
- Eating large meals or eating food late at night
Treatment of GERD disease is:
- Lifestyle modifications – Eating smaller meals (4-5 times in a day)
- Avoiding triggers—smoking, alcohol, coffee. Tea, junk food, chocolate.
- Exercise – maintain weight
- Avoid eating late at nights
- Medications :
- PPIs – Proton pump inhibitors (stop stomach acid and helps in healing oesophagus)
- Antacids- over the counter – neutralise stomach acid ( provides temporary relief)
- H2 Receptor blockers – ranitidine(zantac), cimetidine
Further Complications that can come due to this disease:
- Chronic oesophageal inflammation
- Oesophageal stricture—narrowing of oesophagus
- Barretts oesophagus – oesophageal cancer
With lifestyle modifications and medications – it’s highly treatable.
Guest post by Dr Avneet Ahuja for Kivihealth.com