Treatment for GERD in Weirton, WV
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (otherwise known as GERD) is a condition where the stomach’s acid consistently flows up into the esophagus, often causing heartburn among other possible symptoms. In more aggressive cases, the bottom of your stomach may become increasingly fragile or it can even create an opening for foreign stomach acids to flow through the body.
What are the Causes of GERD?
People with GERD most often experience feelings of heartburn. If you’re unfamiliar with this symptom, it can feel like your chest is on fire and be very uncomfortable. Other people may experience nausea, difficulty or pain when swallowing, or a dry cough.
Although people of any age can become susceptible to GERD, here are a list of some factors that can increase your chances of developing the condition:
- Being medically overweight or obese
- Being pregnant
- Smoking or having been exposed to second-hand smoking frequently
- Using medications such as asthma inhalers, antihistamines, sedatives, and antidepressants.
Is My Reflux Normal or Something More Serious?
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is more commonly known as chronic acid reflux disease. It is estimated that more than 23 million Americans suffer from the symptoms of GERD. GERD is caused by anatomical changes that result in the body's natural antireflux barrier becoming dysfunctional, allowing stomach fluids to backwash up, or "reflux," into the esophagus (the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach), exposing the esophagus to gastric acid.
What Are the Symptoms of GERD?
While heartburn is the most common symptom, there are many other symptoms, both acid-related and non-acid-related. Most GERD sufferers attribute their symptoms to acid reflux, but reflux of non-acid stomach fluids can cause similar symptoms and can be just as harmful to the esophagus.
Typical symptoms include:
- Excessive salivation (waterbrash)
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Reflux-related sleep disorders
- Yellow fluid or stains on pillow after sleep
- Intolerance of certain foods and liquids
Atypical symptoms can include:
- Hoarseness or laryngitis
- Frequent swallowing
- Asthma or asthma-like symptoms
- Excessive clearing of the throat
- Persistent cough
- Burning in the mouth or throat (acid taste in the mouth)
- Dental erosions or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation
- Discomfort in the ears and nose
What are Treatment Options?
Before the doctor applies treatment, they may prescribe you medication to see if the reflux decreases. If you’re going the medication route, proton pump inhibitors are a common treatment option designed to decrease the amount of stomach acid.
If neither the medications nor lifestyle changes are working, you might require these procedural treatments instead:
- Endoscopic procedure- Includes multiple procedures involving radiofrequency to make small burns that tighten and heal the sphincter muscle.
- Fundoplication- the top of the stomach is sewn causing pressure to the bottom of the esophagus, greatly reducing the reflux effect.
In addition, here are some things you can do to avoid any further issues with GERD:
- Eat smaller meals.
- Leave at least 3 hours between the time you finish your last meal and your bedtime.
- Don’t wear clothes that fit tight
- Avoid drinking alcohol and foods that are spicy or greasy.
- Engage in new weight management strategies.
Schedule Your GERD Treatment Appointment Today!
Some reflux is normal, but if you suffer symptoms of reflux more than twice a week, you may have GERD. Call our office for a surgical treatment for acid reflux in Weirton, WV.