Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) Treatment in Punta Gorda, FL
Many people think of heartburn as a minor health problem, but it can sometimes be a symptom of the more serious ailment known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Commonly referred to as acid reflux disease, GERD is a condition that affects many people worldwide.
Despite their prevalence, GERD and acid reflux disease can be treated. If you're suffering from GERD and need help, please call (239) 425-2900 or contact Dr. Doreen DeStefano online.
What is Acid Reflux Disease?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that afflicts primarily the stomach and esophagus. GERD is a chronic digestive disease, meaning that its symptoms occur for a long period of time and affect the digestive system.
GERD occurs when stomach acid, or on occasion bile, flow back up through the stomach and esophagus. This reaction is not part of the normal digestive system and can lead to a number of frightening and painful symptoms.
If left untreated, GERD can lead to esophagus damage, which in turn can lead to these conditions:
- Barrett's esophagus
- Reflux esophagitis (permanent esophagus damage)
- Esophageal strictures (the narrowing of the esophagus)
Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
There are numerous symptoms associated with acid reflux disease and GERD, the most well-known of which is heartburn. When suffering from acid reflux disease, heartburn typically begins in the chest and can carry through to the throat and even mouth. This results in what is often described as a “sour” taste.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore throat
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
Not everyone suffering from GERD deals with each of these symptoms, but the presence of more than one is cause for immediately alarm. If you're seeing the signs and symptoms of acid reflux, please call (239) 425-2900 or contact Dr. Doreen DeStefano online.
What Causes Acid Reflux Disease?
There is no one cause of acid reflux disease. While the condition known as GERD is indeed caused by stomach acid backup, that backup itself can stem from many different issues. Part of GERD is hereditary in nature.
These other risk factors can lead to acid reflux or heartburn in general:
- Frequent over-eating
- Laying down after eating
- Dry mouth
- Cigarette smoking
- Pregnancy, in some cases
- Hernias of the stomach
While GERD is most common in adults, childhood GERD is also a concern. When present in children, acid reflux disease is much more likely to cause vomiting.
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GERD can be treated with lifestyle changes, certain medications (such as antacids and acid inhibitors) and if necessary, surgeries to repair of the esophagus, such as laparoscopic nissen fundoplication (lap nissen). To make this diagnosis, numerous tests include X-rays and acid tests may be required.
If you have chronic acid reflux and heartburn and would like to learn more about your treatment options, please call (239) 425-2900 or contact Dr. Doreen DeStefano online.
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