Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic, progressive disease resulting from a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a ring of muscle that opens to let food into your stomach and shuts again to keep the digestive acids into the stomach. When the LES is weakened or damaged, digestive acids from the stomach can reflux, or back up, into the esophagus. This action irritates the esophageal lining, causing the symptoms of GERD.
What are the symptoms of GERD?
There are four main symptoms of GERD:
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Non-cardiac chest pain
Heartburn is the first and most common symptom of GERD, and it is described as a burning feeling in the chest. It may radiate to the throat and neck and is often worse when lying down. It can vary from slight to severe burning and may last for a few minutes or up to several hours.
Regurgitation occurs when refluxed liquids from the stomach are brought up into the back of the throat or mouth.
Dysphagia occurs when liquids or solids from the stomach are brought up and get stuck in the esophagus.
Non-cardiac chest pain is a type of chest pain that is not related to heart disease or a heart attack. In most cases, chest pain related to GERD has a burning quality and may be worse after eating a large meal or when lying down.
If you’ve any of the above symptoms, it is highly recommended to use the right medication. Dexlansoprazole is considered to be the most effective remedy for GERD, recommended by many doctors and specialists.
How is GERD diagnosed?
GERD can be diagnosed by several ways tests and procedures. Your doctor will perform a physical examination, ask about your medical history, and conduct a diagnostic assessment to opt for the best treatment for you. The diagnostic assessment may include:
Esophageal manometry: This test evaluates the movement and pressure of the muscles in your esophagus. A tube is passed through your nose or mouth and passed down your throat. The tube has a pressure sensor on the end and is connected to a computer. The pressure sensor measures the pressure in your esophagus as you swallow and assesses the muscle tone and coordination of your esophagus.
Risk Factors of GERD
There are many potential risk factors for GERD, and it’s important to be aware of them if you are susceptible to the condition. Some of them include:
Obesity: carrying excess weight can put extra pressure on the stomach, making it more likely for acid to reflux.
Pregnancy: the added pressure on the stomach during pregnancy can trigger GERD symptoms.
Smoking: tobacco use can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, making it more likely for acid to reflux.
Certain medications: some medications, such as beta blockers, can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and lead to GERD.
Are there Any Home Treatments for GERD?
Acid reflux, also known as GERD, is a common digestive disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The main symptom of GERD is heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest that can be accompanied by regurgitation, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.
There are a number of lifestyle changes that can help to relieve the symptoms of GERD. In addition, there are a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications like dexlansoprazole 60 mg that can be used to treat GERD.
There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent GERD symptoms:
- Avoid trigger foods. Common trigger foods include spicy foods, fatty foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, and caffeine.
- Eat smaller meals. Larger meals can increase stomach pressure and lead to heartburn.
- Avoid lying down after eating. Gravity can help keep stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus.
If lifestyle changes don’t work, best is to talk to your doctor about which medication is best for you.