Gastroesophageal Reflux

Information from the emptying study can be useful for managing patients with GERD. For example, if a patient with GERD continues to have symptoms despite treatment with the usual medications, doctors might prescribe other medications that speed-up emptying of the stomach. Alternatively, in conjunction with GERD surgery, they might do a surgical procedure that promotes a more rapid emptying of the stomach.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus (food pipe). Food travels from your mouth to the stomach through your esophagus. GERD can irritate the food pipe and cause heartburn and other symptoms.

Your doctor may suggest you keep a food journal to find out what aggravates your acid reflux symptoms. For some people, acid reflux symptoms may be relieved by changing habits, diet, and lifestyle. The following steps may reduce reflux. Although many people can relieve their reflux disease symptoms by changes in their habits, diet, and lifestyle, others need to consult their health-care professional. Symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, regurgitation of bitter acid into the throat, bitter taste in mouth, ches pain, dry cough, hoarseness, feeling of tightness in the throat, and wheezing.

Most of these are rare, but GERD can be the first step toward any of them. The best treatment for any of these is prevention. Acid reflux usually feels like a painful or burning sensation in your stomach, upper abdomen behind the breastbone, esophagus, and even up into your throat.

They may also feel nauseous and like they need to vomit. Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, allowing stomach acid to back up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn and other signs and symptoms.

Talk to your health-care professional if you take over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). These can aggravate reflux in some people. Avoid fatty or greasy foods, chocolate, caffeine, mints or mint-flavored foods, spicy foods, citrus, and tomatoes. These foods can irritate the already damaged lining of the esophagus. Don’t eat large meals, especially before bedtime.

These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach. Less acid in the stomach means less acid available for back-up into the esophagus. Some examples are cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and famotidine (Pepcid). Low doses of these drugs are available without a prescription.

The citric acid that’s naturally present in citrus fruit can irritate the esophagus. While the stomach is made to withstand more acidic foods, the esophagus is not. Unsweetened coconut water can be another great option for people with acid reflux. This beverage is a good source of helpful electrolytes such as potassium. These electrolytes promote pH balance in the body, which is crucial for controlling acid reflux.

Acid reflux is usually caused by the muscle, which keeps food inside the stomach, weakening. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website.

Inside Children’s Health:

Tests to diagnose acid reflux (GERD) include upper GI series (X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the intestine), an upper GI endoscopy, esophageal manometry, and a 24-hour pH probe study. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus. The fiery feeling of heartburn is the last way you want to remember a great meal.

It has a circular band of muscle (the oesophageal sphincter) at its lower end where the oesophagus opens to the stomach. The sphincter closes after food has entered the stomach to prevent the contents of the stomach travelling back up the oesophagus. However, if the sphincter becomes weak and does not close fully, or relaxes at the wrong moment, stomach acid can flow back up the oesophagus and irritate the lining of the oesophagus. Heartburn, also referred to as acid reflux, is a painful burning sensation in the chest. It is a symptom of a digestive system problem.

One reason this happens is that the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is weakened or damaged. Normally the LES closes to prevent food in the stomach from moving up into the esophagus.

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