Understanding GERD

If you’re part of the significant percentage of adults that has been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or suspect that you may have it, the sooner you get to know the physiology of acid reflux—what’s happening in your body—and its causes. the more you can do to avoid episodes and ease symptoms—and the more comfortably you can live your life.

Nearly everyone has heartburn now and then. But heartburn is also the most common symptom of GERD, so talk to your doctor if:

GERD background concept glowing

  • Your heartburn happens 2 or more times a week
  • Your heartburn gets worse
  • Your heartburn happens at night and wakes you from sleep
  • You’ve had heartburn now and then, but for several years
  • You have difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Your discomfort or pain interferes with your daily activities

Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and the esophagus. Reflux refers to the back-flow of acidic or non-acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. There is no known single cause of GERD. It occurs when the esophageal defenses are overwhelmed by stomach contents that reflux into the esophagus.

A band of muscles at the junction of the stomach and esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) normally acts, in conjunction with the diaphragm, as a barrier to prevent reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. If that barrier is relaxed at inappropriate times or is otherwise compromised, reflux occurs.

GERD symptoms are often persistent, such as chronic heartburn and regurgitation of acid. Sometimes, though, there are no apparent symptoms, and the presence of GERD is revealed when complications become evident.

Symptoms vary from person to person. The majority of people with GERD have mild symptoms, with no visible evidence of tissue damage and little risk of developing complications. However, even occasional heartburn – if it has occurred for a period of 5 years or more, or is associated with difficulty in swallowing– may signal a more serious condition. People with long standing chronic heartburn are at greater risk for complications including stricture or a potentially pre-cancerous disease that involves a cellular change in the esophagus called Barrett’s esophagus.

If you are in the Las Vegas area and suffer from any of these symptoms or have been diagnosed with GERD, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heidi Ryan. Dr. Ryan is one the few surgeons in the area trained in LINX® — a revolutionary solution for reflux. It’s a simple device with life-changing potential.

Read more online at: http://www.linxforlife.com/

 

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