What is Gerd?
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with GERD or suspect that you may have it, you’ll want to know exactly what that means. Get to know the physiology of acid reflux and learn what’s happening in your body and why it’s happening. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach as well as the esophagus. Reflux means to flow back or return. Therefore, gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus.
For those with normal digestion the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and closes to prevent food and also acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus, there is a ring which seals the esophagus from the stomach called the esophageal sphincter. In normal digestion, the sphincter opens when you swallow allowing food into the stomach. The rest of the time, it squeezes its muscles to prevent food and acid from moving into the stomach and esophagus.
In most Gerd patients this sphincter doesn’t seal tightly between swallowing, allowing digestive juices to enter the esophagus and irritate the lining. Certain foods, smoking, alcohol, pregnancy, medications, as well as obesity can weaken the sphincter. The most common symptom of Gerd is heartburn, this takes place when the stomach acid comes in contact with the esophagus. Other symptoms include a dry cough, asthma-like symptoms or trouble swallowing.
Ways to relieve Gerd…
There are several ways to relieve GERD symptoms including, losing weight, eating small frequent meals, and also staying away from heartburn inducing foods. Certain medications and lifestyle modifications will help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux but for some people who suffer from Gerd, surgery may be the best option for treatment.
As far as prognosis in some cases patients are able to follow a treatment plan that remedies most of their symptoms. The earlier treatment for your symptoms begin the better the results. The prognosis of people with Gerd is extremely good taking medications and also making certain lifestyles changes will aide in your healing. However for some the recovery from Gerd is temporary or partial.