Gastroesophageal reflux disease, most often called GERD, is a condition that causes the stomach contents to back up, moving up the esophagus and sometimes into the throat. GERD can cause serious issues with all aspects of digestion and even with general health and wellness. The Fifth Avenue GI gastroenterologists are here to help residents of East Harlem or Upper East Side, New York, with GERD, whether it's a mild case or a serious one.
GERD is a condition that happens when the stomach's contents move the wrong way, upward toward the throat. If you have GERD, the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that guards food passage into the stomach, doesn't do its job correctly.
The lower esophageal sphincter typically allows food to move into the stomach and stays closed if food or stomach acids try to move upward, but with GERD, it enables the food and acid to move into the esophagus and even into the back of the throat.
Although the area where the esophagus moves through the diaphragm is typically only able to accommodate the esophagus, there may sometimes be more room, and this allows for a serious problem.
When a portion of the upper stomach moves upward and into the chest cavity, a hiatal hernia results. If you have a hiatal hernia at the same time that you have GERD, the refluxed acid can cause not only discomfort but also more severe issues like heartburn and ulcers.
Should GERD and a hiatal hernia continue untreated, more severe issues like cancer could develop.
Your diet may play a prominent role in GERD. Certain foods such as very acidic ones like citrus fruits and tomatoes are common culprits. Alcohol is a frequent GERD contributor as well.
Being overweight or obese may contribute to GERD, and many pregnant women develop the condition.
Some types of medication, like antibiotics, can cause esophagus irritation that leads to GERD, too.
After diagnostic tests such as an upper endoscopy, your Fifth Avenue GI gastroenterologist treats GERD based on your specific symptoms and issues. Treatment often starts with nonsurgical changes (mainly, dietary modifications).
If these changes are ineffective, your Fifth Avenue GI gastroenterologist can perform a laparoscopic surgery to correct the GERD. Recovery from laparoscopic GERD surgery is typically a smooth process, with only around a week of recovery time required.
Are you tired of dealing with pain every time you eat certain foods? There's help for GERD at Fifth Avenue GI. Use the quick online appointment tool to arrange a visit with one of our gastroenterology experts today.