Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Heartburn / GERD Guide

Considering the epidemic rates of osteoporosis in our country today, this well-documented side effect from long-term use of acid-blocking medication is extremely troubling. Few doctors are talking to their patients about the risk of acid-blocking medication in relation to bone health. The FDA has even recognized this significant risk. Mandated label changes now require both prescription and over the counter acid-blocking medications to carry a warning stating the increased risk of bone fracture associated with high doses and/or long-term use of these medications.

From a therapeutic point of view, informing patients that gastric refluxate is made up not only of acid but also of duodenal contents (eg, bile, pancreatic secretions) is important. The hypothesis that obesity increases esophageal acid exposure is supported by the documentation of a dose-response relationship between increased BMI and increased prevalence of GERD and its complications. Therefore, the pathophysiology of GERD in patients who are morbidly obese might differ from that of patients who are not obese. The therapeutic implication of such a premise is that the correction of reflux in patients who are morbidly obese might be better achieved with a procedure that first controls obesity. When discussing the mechanisms for GERD, the issue of hiatal hernia must be addressed.

“We know that lower magnesium levels are a risk factor for chronic kidney disease,” says Grams, whose study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2016, set off a firestorm of media coverage when it revealed that PPIs could increase the risk of kidney disease by 20 to 50 percent. But Grams specifies that this increased risk is more likely to occur in individuals age 70+ who may already be at risk. Still, ticking off another box on PPIs and their risks may have patients second-guessing their use. BL Unfortunately, opioid use in the United States continues to grow. This means that all health care providers will see more and more patients with symptoms of esophageal dysfunction related to opioids.

The chemicals in some antacids can lead to fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, diarrhea, muscle pain, and swelling. Even more serious is Barrett‘s esophagus, a mutation of the cells that line the esophagus. Barrett’s can be a precursor to esophageal cancer.

In its early stages, esophageal cancer often has no symptoms. Difficulty swallowing and weight loss are the most common symptoms as the cancer grows. The opening of the esophagus becomes narrower, making swallowing difficult or painful. Everyone has experienced gastroesophageal reflux. It happens when you burp, have an acid taste in your mouth or have heartburn.

One of the more serious conditions associated with reflux is esophageal stricture (a narrowing of the esophagus). This condition can make it difficult to swallow and may require surgery. A. Long-term acid reflux can damage the esophagus and may lead to a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer. Barrett’s affects about 3% to 10% of older men, but within this group the risk of developing esophageal cancer is only about four in every 1,000 cases. Over all, men with Barrett’s are more likely to die from another cause.

Many people experience acid reflux from time to time. GERD is mild acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week, or moderate to severe acid reflux that occurs at least once a week.

The researchers looked at who used PPIs after H. pylori treatment, and who got stomach cancer.

The lining of the stomach is specially adapted to protect it from the powerful acid, but the esophagus is not protected. The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, a strong acid that helps break down food and protect against pathogens such as bacteria. Acid reflux creates a burning pain in the lower chest area, often after eating.

dangers of acid reflux

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