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Chief Consultant - Dept. of General Minimal Access & Bariatric Surgery

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Dr. Mriganka Sekhar Sharma

Chief Consultant - Dept. of General Minimal Access & Bariatric Surgery

Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Symptoms, Causes And, Treatments

Posted On: Nov 21, 2023

blogs read 5 Min Read

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common digestive problem that affects 20–30% of the population in India. A major risk factor for those suffering the condition was their diet, BMI, and lifestyle including tobacco and alcohol consumption along with age and hereditary factors. 

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, is a common digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. A muscular valve at the bottom of the esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter or LES) normally opens to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach and then closes to prevent stomach contents from flowing back up. If the LES weakens or relaxes too often, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation.

Symptoms of GERD to watch out for

The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest that can rise up into the throat. Other symptoms of GERD may include:

  • Regurgitation, is a sour or bitter-tasting liquid backing up into your mouth or throat.

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Chest pain

  • Dry cough

  • Wheezing

  • Hoarseness

  • Sore throat

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

If you notice these gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms, it is important to get a doctor's consultation and get yourself examined by an expert gastroenterologist. Over-the-counter pills may provide temporary relief only. Manipal Hospitals Gurugram has some of the best gastroenterology experts in Gurgaon for all your healthcare needs.

What causes GERD?

The exact cause of GERD is not always known as the condition can be triggered due to various reasons. There are a number of factors that can contribute to its development, including:

  • Chronic stress and anxiety can weaken the gastrointestinal system.

  • A weak or relaxed lower esophageal sphincter.

  • Hiatal hernia is a condition in which the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and into the chest.

  • Increased abdominal pressure is caused by obesity, pregnancy, or tight-fitting clothing.

  • Certain foods and drinks like fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and peppermint can all relax the LES and trigger reflux.

  • Certain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and some antidepressants, can irritate the lining of the esophagus and make it more susceptible to reflux.

  • Genetic predisposition to developing the disorder.

Complications of GERD

If left untreated, GERD can lead to a number of complications, including:

  • Esophagitis is an Inflammation of the lining of the esophagus.

  • Esophageal ulcers are the open sores in the lining of the esophagus.

  • Barrett's esophagus is a precancerous condition in which the cells in the lining of the esophagus change.

  • Esophageal cancer

Treatment for GERD

Treatment for GERD typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Lifestyle changes that can help reduce reflux include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals.

  • Avoiding foods and drinks that trigger reflux.

  • Not lying down after eating.

  • Elevating the head of the bed at night.

If lifestyle changes are not enough to control GERD, medication may be prescribed. Over-the-counter medications, such as antacids and H2 blockers, can help neutralize stomach acid and reduce heartburn. Those are only temporary reliefs. Getting a proper diagnosis from a medical expert is a must. A certified gastroenterologist can help you identify your symptoms and their cause.

Prescription medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, can be more effective in reducing stomach acid production.

Chronic cases of recurrent GERD may require surgery. In some cases, surgery may be recommended for patients with severe GERD that does not respond to other treatments. Surgery can be used to tighten the loose esophageal sphincters or repair a hiatal hernia.


GERD is a common gastric issue which affects a large number of people in India. The symptoms are usually mild and might go unnoticed. If symptoms persist for an unusual amount of time then one must consider visiting a certified medical expert or a doctor. If you think you may have GERD, it is important to see a doctor to get a  proper examination and diagnosis to obtain a treatment plan. Early gastroesophageal reflux disease treatments and diagnosis can help prevent complications and improve your quality of life. Maintaining healthy eating habits and lifestyle is always advisable. For further queries on preventive care, visit our gastroenterology experts at Manipal Hospitals Gurugram or book an appointment online. 

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