GERD or acid reflux is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when content of the stomach flows back to the esophagus. Esophagus or the food pipe is the cord between mouth and stomach that carries the food. This chronic disease causes pain and burning in chest and throat. The symptoms of GERD are commonly called heartburn. If heartburn occurs occasionally it doesn’t mean you have GERD because this is a serious form of acid reflux with severe symptoms.
What Causes GERD:
There are several reasons that may cause heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux. If you are overweight or having a hiatal hernia, chances of getting the symptoms of disease increase. If you eat too much and lie down soon after eating, you may have the symptoms of acid reflux. Symptoms of GERD also start appearing in pregnancy and if you wear tight clothes. The following are the main causes of GERD.
- Foods high in fat
- Citrus foods such as orange juice
- Tomato-based foods
- Spicy foods
Symptoms of GERD:
The primary and major symptoms of heartburn include a burning pain in the lower chest. Acid or sour taste in your mouth and the sensation of bloating are other symptoms of GERD. The following are some other symptoms of acid reflux:
Diagnosis and Treatment of GERD:
In most of cases of acid reflux doctors attempt to control indigestion by recommending changes in the lifestyle and over-the-counter medicines. They suggest avoiding foods and beverages which contribute to acid indigestion. A number of clinical tests are also performed to establish the symptoms of GERD. These tests include:
- Upper GI X-Ray
- Esophageal Manometry
Once diagnosis is done a few very effective medications are prescribed to the patients to treat the acid reflux. Some of the medications prescribed are Prevacid, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix and Zantac.