Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) develops when you repeatedly suffer acid reflux and heartburn. The AZZ Medical Associates team’s gastroenterology experts have over 25 years of experience treating GERD. They provide outstanding care at their offices in Old Bridge, Brick Township, Hamilton Township, and Ewing, New Jersey. If you continually suffer from heartburn, indigestion, belching, nausea, and bloating, you can benefit from their help. Call AZZ Medical Associates today or book an appointment online.
GERD is a common gastroenterology (digestive system) condition where stomach acid travels back up your esophagus (acid reflux). This causes inflammation and chest pain (heartburn).
GERD develops when a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t work like it should. The LES provides a seal between your esophagus and stomach. When you swallow, it opens to let food and drink into the stomach, then closes securely to prevent the stomach contents from escaping.
If something damages or weakens the LES, it can’t close properly. Acid will travel back up the esophagus, sometimes reaching the mouth. While your stomach is designed to withstand the acid’s corrosive effects, the esophageal tissue isn’t. The acid burns the tissue, causing unpleasant GERD symptoms.
GERD causes symptoms many people refer to as indigestion, including:
If the stomach acid reaches your mouth, it can damage your teeth.
These symptoms might occasionally appear, especially after a large or overindulgent meal. If you experience acid reflux infrequently, there’s not much to worry about. However, you should visit AZZ Medical Associates for treatment if you suffer from it regularly.
GERD is nearly always caused by a poor diet and excess body weight, which weakens the LES. Smoking, drinking large amounts of alcohol, and eating rich or spicy food can also trigger GERD or make your symptoms worse.
Some medications cause side effects like GERD. The condition is common during late pregnancy when the fetus is big enough to compress the mother’s internal organs.
You might also experience GERD symptoms if you have a hiatal hernia. This is where part of the stomach protrudes through a gap in your diaphragm, a muscular sheet separating your chest organs from those in your abdomen.
You can help yourself significantly by losing weight and avoiding spicy foods, fats, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol. If you need help making healthy changes, the internal medicine experts at AZZ Medical Associates offer advice and support.
Over-the-counter antacids can relieve occasional acid reflux symptoms. But if you have GERD and your symptoms become a chronic problem, your gastroenterologist might prescribe medication like H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid levels.
Call AZZ Medical Associates today or book an appointment online for prompt GERD treatment.