Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a notable condition in which stomach acid leaks backward from the stomach into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation, chest pain, and vomiting.
- Impairment in the tone, and the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter due to alcohol use, smoking, certain medications like bronchodilators.
- Abnormal propulsion of food associated with delayed swallowing response or leakage of swallowed food backward from the stomach into the esophagus
- Gastroparesis or delayed gastric emptying leads to delayed emptying of the stomach’s content after meal triggered by high-fat diets, and chocolate
GERD occurs in all ages. However, the prevalence of GERD increases in this population.
- Obesity or overweight
- Alcohol consumption
- Diabetes mellitus
- Certain medications used such as theophylline
Primary symptoms of GERD
- Epigastric burning later appeared in the chest and throat, and the more noticeable symptom is delivered after a big meal.
- Wet burp or sour burp due to acid reflux into the esophagus.
Other possible complications of GERD (atypical reflux symptoms)
- Symptoms related to the esophagus, such as chest pain or angina.
- Respiratory difficulties such as chronic cough, asthma
- Symptoms related to ear nose throat include hoarseness, sore throat, hypersalivation, laryngitis, earache, otitis media, and sinusitis.
- Other symptoms, such as dental caries, halitosis.
Recommended indication for upper GI endoscopy:
- Difficulties swallowing
- Frequent vomiting
- Vomiting blood (haematemesis)
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Weight loss
Self instructions for GERD
- Elevating the head of the bed by 15 centimeters is recommended for those who had nocturnal symptoms.
- Consider sleeping on the left side.
- Avoid a high-fat diet.
- Avoid food-induced GERD like coffee, chocolate, alcohol or soda beverages, and foods that contain tomatoes and mint.
- Avoid eating before bed for at least 3 hours.
- Avoid consuming big meals.
- Avoid late dinner.
- Smoking cessation.
- Normalize body weight.
- Avoid certain medications such as anticholinergic, theophylline, a tricyclic antidepressant, calcium channel blocker, beta-adrenergic agonist, and alendronate.
Complications of GERD
- Dysphagia caused by the chronic esophageal ulcer
- Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which esophageal epitheliums become damaged.
- Esophageal cancer.
- Consider taking H2RA, proton pump inhibitor, potassium competitive acid blocker for 4-8 weeks.
- Surgery (highly recommend for those who)
- Wish for effective treatment by avoiding taking medicines.
- Unable to tolerate the side effects of medicines or poor adherence.
- Have poor financial management.