What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
By hunterdondigestivehealth.com
April 14, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Reflux  

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when stomach acids flow back regularly into the esophagus, irritating its lining. In general, you have GERD if you experience an episode of acid reflux episodes twice weekly, or experience severe or moderate acid reflux once weekly.

When you have GERD, prompt diagnosis during your consultation with our gastroenterologist, Dr. Anubha Sinha, here at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists is vital. During your appointment, at our Flemington or Hillsborough, NJ, offices, you’ll undergo a thorough evaluation to obtain an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Causes of GERD

Essentially, the main cause of GERD is acid reflux. Whenever you swallow, your lower esophageal sphincter, a circular muscle band around your esophagus’ lower portion, relaxes to enable liquids and foods to flow freely into the stomach and then closes after. However, if the sphincter is weakened or too relaxed, stomach acids could flow back into the esophagus instead of going down. It’s this constant acid backwash that irritates the esophagus’ lining and makes it inflamed.

Symptoms of GERD

  • Chest pain
  • Heartburn, which is a burning feeling in the chest, typically after eating, and is usually worse in the evening
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • A feeling of having a lump in the throat
  • Regurgitating sour liquid or food

If GERD usually occurs at night, you may likewise have laryngitis, chronic cough, disrupted sleep, and/or worsening asthma symptoms.

When to Visit Your Doctor for GERD

Most individuals could manage their GERD symptoms with certain lifestyle adjustments and OTC medicines. However, some individuals might require stronger prescription medicines and/or surgery to effectively treat their symptoms. With this in mind, arrange a consultation with a gastroenterologist in our Flemington or Hillsborough, NJ, office if you experience frequent or severe GERD episodes and OTC heartburn medications are not helping.

Getting proper treatment is crucial since uncontrolled GERD could lead to chronic esophagus inflammation that, in turn, could lead to complications including narrowed esophagus, esophageal ulcers, or precancerous esophagus changes.

Take Control of GERD Now

Call (908) 788-8200 to schedule your appointment with our gastroenterologist, Dr. Anubha Sinha, either in our Flemington or Hillsborough, NJ, office. Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists also offer telemedicine and virtual visits through Google Hangout, FaceTime, Skype, or OTTO Health. Call us for more details.