Understanding Gerd

Gerd stands for Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is a very common condition that affects millions of Americans. Heartburn and regurgitation of acid are the most common symptoms. Some patients, however, experience other symptoms such as chest pain, hoarseness of voice especially upon awakening, difficulty swallowing, asthma or chronic cough.

If you have symptoms more than twice a week, treatment is usually needed.

Gerd can be easily managed by trial of medical therapy including use of OTC medicines such as pepcid, Zantac , prilosec or prevacid and life-style modifications. An upper endoscopy may have to be done to evaluate and treat, based on response to medications and duration of symptoms.

Long standing Gerd can lead to chronic damage to the lower part of esophagus, resulting in a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. This condition can increase risk of esophageal cancer. Gerd can also cause narrowing of the lower part of esophagus causing food to not pass easily into the stomach. This condition usually requires dilation of the esophagus using a balloon catheter during upper endoscopy. In conclusion, Gerd is a common condition that can have serious consequences. As a result, it is very important that patients consult their doctor for appropriate management of this condition.

At Midlands Gastroenterology, we provide comprehensive evaluation and management of Gerd.

For more details, please visit American College of Gastroenterology website.