Treatment for GERD in Johnson City, TN
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (otherwise known as GERD) is a condition where the stomach’s acid consistently flows up into the esophagus, often causing heartburn among other possible symptoms. In more aggressive cases, the bottom of your stomach may become increasingly fragile or it can even create an opening for foreign stomach acids to flow through the body.
What are the Causes of GERD?
People with GERD most often experience feelings of heartburn. If you’re unfamiliar with this symptom, it can feel like your chest is on fire and be very uncomfortable. Other people may experience nausea, difficulty or pain when swallowing, or a dry cough.
Although people of any age can become susceptible to GERD, here are a list of some factors that can increase your chances of developing the condition:
- Being medically overweight or obese
- Being pregnant
- Smoking or having been exposed to second-hand smoking frequently
- Using medications such as asthma inhalers, antihistamines, sedatives, and antidepressants.
What are Treatment Options?
Before the doctor applies treatment, they may prescribe you medication to see if the reflux decreases. If you’re going the medication route, proton pump inhibitors are a common treatment option designed to decrease the amount of stomach acid.
If neither the medications nor lifestyle changes are working, you might require these procedural treatments instead:
- Endoscopic procedure- Includes multiple procedures involving radiofrequency to make small burns that tighten and heal the sphincter muscle.
- Fundoplication– the top of the stomach is sewn causing pressure to the bottom of the esophagus, greatly reducing the reflux effect.
In addition, here are some things you can do to avoid any further issues with GERD:
- Eat smaller meals.
- Leave at least 3 hours between the time you finish your last meal and your bedtime.
- Don’t wear clothes that fit tight
- Avoid drinking alcohol and foods that are spicy or greasy.
- Engage in new weight management strategies.