Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition, where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus (gullet). Your doctor will start with a physical exam. She’ll also ask some questions about the problems you’re having and your medical history. The next step may be a food diary. You’ll write down the foods you eat and when you have symptoms. Then you’ll share your notes with your doctor. Once treatment has been started for acid reflux, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Often this can be done by monitoring symptoms, but sometimes repeating a procedure to compare the results is the most effective way.

Proton pump inhibitors: These medicines offer stronger acid relief than H-2 receptor blockers. They also can help heal damage in your throat or esophagus from acid reflux. They include esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (AcipHex). Depending on what the EGD shows, your doctor may decide to perform a biopsy during the procedure. If this is the case, your gastroenterologist will pass a tiny surgical instrument through the scope to remove a small piece of the lining in the esophagus. The tissue sample will then be sent to a pathology lab for analysis. There it will be assessed to see if there is an underlying disease such as esophageal cancer.

If your symptoms don’t improve with lifestyle changes and prescription medications, your doctor may recommend surgery, though that is rare. The most common type is fundoplication, which is when the upper part of your stomach is wrapped around the LES in order to strengthen it and prevent reflux. Endoscopic techniques and implantation of a ring of magnetic beads called a LINX device, may also be considered. No alternative medicine therapies have been proved to treat GERD or reverse damage to the esophagus. Some complementary and alternative therapies may provide some relief, when combined with your doctor’s care.

The examiner will insert a long, thin, tube with a camera on the end into your mouth and gently push it through your esophagus and into your stomach area. This allows the examiner to look closely at the tissues in your upper GI tract and stomach area. Provide a complete list of your medications. The list find out more should include all prescription medications you are taking, plus over-the counter products, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Always let each of your doctors know when a new medicine is added, you start something new that is over-the-counter, or an existing medication is changed or discontinued.

The two most common tests done to confirm a diagnosis of acid reflux, or to explore problems with similar symptoms, include a 24 hour pH probe exam and an upper GI series. Herbal remedies. Licorice and chamomile are sometimes used to ease GERD. Herbal remedies can have serious side effects and might interfere with medications. Ask your doctor about a safe dosage before beginning any herbal remedy. After applying a numbing agent to the inside of your nose, the doctor will ask you to remain seated. Then a narrow, flexible tube will be passed through your nose, through your esophagus, and into your stomach.

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