Posted On Nov 25, 2022
5 min read
Most of the patients suffer from dyspepsia symptoms, heartburn, reflux symptoms, etc. It’s easy to ignore heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, particularly if you’re relieving your symptoms by taking antacids regularly. These symptoms could be a sign of GERD, a condition that can lead to esophageal damage called reflux esophagitis and esophageal cancer if left untreated. It is a long-term condition characterized by GERD symptoms that occur more than once a week. GER and GERD can affect people of all ages, genders, and races.
The root cause is often a dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter, the valve between the stomach and esophagus. Few patients who have hiatus hernias (where there is a segment of the stomach in the chest cavity) can have constant acid exposure to the lower part of the esophagus, resulting in GERD. Older patients particularly are prone to reflux symptoms due to a lax GE junction.
GERD can cause stomach acid reflux into the lower portion of your esophagus (the tube that joins your mouth to your stomach). This can cause symptoms including coughing after meals or at night, belching, heartburn, which is a burning sensation or pain in your chest, acid regurgitation, and an upset stomach. These symptoms may disrupt your sleep, which can affect how you feel and function during the day. Visit our gastro hospital in Mysore if you are experiencing these symptoms.
If your symptoms are severe and/or occur more than once a week, see your gastroenterologist immediately so that your symptoms can be treated before your GERD progresses to a more serious disease.
Your gastroenterologist can recommend treatments and advise you on lifestyle changes to reduce symptoms, such as:
Excess weight increases pressure on your stomach and cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax.
Acidic foods and drinks: Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, alcohol, and many soft drinks
Fatty, spicy, and fried foods relax the lower esophageal sphincter, as well as delay the stomach's emptying, which leads to acid reflux.
Eat slowly, and chew well: Take small bites, chew thoroughly, and eat more slowly. Smaller, more frequent meals are good for your stomach and LES.
Don’t lie down immediately after eating: Avoid lying down for at least 30 to 60 minutes after eating, as this can cause acid reflux in almost anyone.
Smoking damages the membranes that protect the esophagus, increases acid secretion, reduces lower esophageal muscle function, and reduces saliva production (vital for acid neutralization).
A medical gastroenterologist is an expert in this subject and will assess your esophagus using diagnostic procedures such as upper GI endoscopy and ask about your family history, personal medical history, lifestyle, and diet to determine the cause of your symptoms. These procedures can be performed as daycare procedures with no sedation. It is recommended to arrive for the procedure on an empty stomach and with a family member or friend. Consult with our gastroenterologist in Mysore to know more.
Consultant - Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist
Manipal Hospitals, Mysore