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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition wherein the stomach contents leak backward from the belly into the esophagus (food pipe). Food travels out of your mouth to the belly thru your esophagus. GERD can worsen the meals pipe and cause heartburn and different symptoms.


When you devour, meals passes from the throat to the belly through the esophagus. A ring of muscle fibers in the decrease esophagus prevents swallowed meals from moving again up. These muscle fibers are known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

When this ring of muscle does not near all the manner, stomach contents can leak lower back into the esophagus. This is referred to as reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux may cause symptoms. Harsh belly acids also can harm the liner of the esophagus. Being pregnant is a first-rate chance issue for GERD because of multiplied stress on the stomach and hormonal modifications.

Some pregnant women revel in heartburn as often as each day, in line with the Cleveland Clinic. Other causes and risk factors:

  • Consuming alcoholic, caffeinated, or carbonated liquids
  • Eating positive ingredients, along with chocolate, citrus culmination, onions, peppermint, tomatoes, spicy, or fried meals
  • Eating large meals
  • Eating before bed
  • Lying flat soon after eating
  • Taking certain medicinal drugs like aspirin, different medications such as certain tablets for bronchial asthma, excessive blood pressure, allergic reactions, depression, sleep issues, and ache


Everyone has experienced gastroesophageal reflux. It happens whilst you burp, have an acid taste to your mouth, or have heartburn. However, if these symptoms interfere along with your each day lifestyles it’s time to look your physician.

Other signs that arise less regularly but can imply that you can have GERD are:

  • Acid regurgitation
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Sudden excess of saliva
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Laryngitis or hoarseness
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Cavities
  • Bad breath
  • A recurrent or chronic cough
  • Chest pain


Usually, your provider can tell if you have simple acid reflux (not chronic) by talking with you about your symptoms and medical history. You and your provider can talk about controlling your symptoms through diet and medications. If these strategies don’t help, your provider may ask you to get tested for GERD. Tests for GERD include:

  • Upper gastrointestinal GI endoscopy and biopsy: Your provider feeds an endoscope (a long tube with a light attached) through your mouth and throat to look at the lining of your upper GI tract (esophagus and stomach and duodenum). The provider also cuts out a small bit of tissue (biopsy) to examine for GERD or other problems.
  • Upper GI series: X-rays of your upper GI tract show any problems related to GERD. You drink barium, a liquid that moves through your tract as the X-ray tech takes pictures.
  • Esophageal manometry: A manometry tests the functionality of the lower esophageal sphincter and esophageal muscles to move food normally from the esophagus to the stomach. Your provider inserts a small flexible tube with sensors into your nose. These sensors measure the strength of your sphincter, muscles, and spasms as you swallow.


To prevent and relieve symptoms of GERD, your doctor might encourage you to make changes to your eating habits or other behaviors.

They might also suggest taking over-the-counter medications, like:

  • Antacids
  • H2 receptor blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

In some cases, they might prescribe stronger H2 receptor blockers or PPIs. If GERD is severe and not responding to other treatments, surgery might be recommended.

When To See A Doctor

Seek immediate hospital treatment when you have chest ache, particularly in case you’re experiencing shortness of breath, or jaw or arm pain. These can be symptoms and signs of a coronary heart attack.

Make an appointment together with your health practitioner in case you:

  • Experience severe or frequent GERD symptoms
  • Take over-the-counter medications for heartburn more than twice a week

Alice Jacqueline is a creative writer. Alice is the best article author, social media, and content marketing expert. Alice is a writer by day and ready by night. Find her on Twitter and on Facebook!

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