Information on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) from the National Library of Medicine
Your esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) happens when a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly. This allows stomach contents to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.
You may feel a burning in the chest or throat called heartburn. Sometimes, you can taste stomach fluid in the back of the mouth. This is acid indigestion. If you have these symptoms more than twice a week, you may have GERD. For more information, see U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
Mayo Clinic on GERD
Information on GERD from MayoClinic.com.
Patient Information on GERD from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
...If you don’t have heartburn, you can still have GERD. Some other symptoms of GERD are clearing your throat often, trouble swallowing, feeling like food is stuck in your throat, burning in your mouth, and pain in your chest…Read more at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
GERD in adults: Essentials from Consumer Reports
What is it? What are the symptoms? How is it diagnosed? How common is it? What will happen? Questions to ask
Key points about treatments at Consumer Reports.
Medications and conditions that can put you at risk for GERD.
Gastroesophageal reflux is a common condition that often occurs without symptoms after meals. In some people, the reflux is related to a problem with the lower esophageal sphincter, a band of muscle fibers that usually closes off the esophagus from the stomach. If this sphincter doesn't close properly, food and liquid can move backward into the esophagus and may cause the symptoms.
The risk factors for reflux include hiatal hernia (a condition in which part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm, which is the muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities), pregnancy, and scleroderma.
More at U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
What kinds of medicines can I take for GERD?
Most medicines to treat GERD work to lower the acid level in the stomach. The two main types of prescription medicines are: H2 receptor antagonists, or H2RAs. Examples are Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac. Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. Examples are AcipHex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec OTC, and Protonix. Generic omeprazole is also available. The PPIs work better than the H2RA medicines in treating GERD. But PPIs are more likely to cause side effects such as headache or diarrhea. Studies show that, overall, each PPI works about as well as another for relieving symptoms. See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
What if GERD symptoms persist even after dietary changes and medication?
If your symptoms do not improve with lifestyle changes or medications, you may need additional tests.
A completely accurate diagnostic test for GERD does not exist, and tests have not consistently shown that acid exposure to the lower esophagus directly correlates with damage to the lining... See National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Symptoms and Treatment of GERD in children.
Distinguishing between normal, physiologic reflux and GERD in children is important. Most infants with GER are happy and healthy even if they frequently spit up or vomit, and babies usually outgrow GER by their first birthday. Reflux that continues past 1 year of age may be GERD. Studies show GERD is common and may be overlooked in infants and children. For example, GERD can present as repeated regurgitation, nausea, heartburn, coughing, laryngitis, or respiratory problems like wheezing, asthma, or pneumonia. Infants and young children may demonstrate irritability or arching of the back, often during or immediately after feedings. Infants with GERD may refuse to feed and experience poor growth… more from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Points to Remember:
A quick check list from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - an Interactive Tutorial.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a fairly common condition that affects millions of people in the United States. View and interactive tutorial of GERD from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
UPMC Recruiting for GERD trial.
PITTSBURGH, June 10 – The UPMC Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute (HLESI) currently is enrolling participants for a clinical trial to evaluate an implantable device to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
GERD can produce a variety of symptoms but most commonly shows itself as severe, chronic heartburn. That happens when acid rises from the stomach into the esophagus through a weak lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, causing inflammation and a burning sensation in the chest...more at UPMC.
Video: An overview of GERD
Dr. Barrett Levesque, a gastroenterology fellow at the Stanford Univ. School of Medicine, gives an overview of GERD as presented at videomd.com.
Management of GERD
American Gastroenterological Association medical position statement on the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease as presented at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Role of endoscopy in the management of GERD.
Read the guidelines developed by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy - Medical Specialty Society and presented at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Advanced Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Endoscopy and ambulatory pH tests are best to evaluate the anatomic and physiologic impact ofgastroesophageal reflux disease. Complications of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease include peptic strictures and Barrett metaplasia. Barrett esophagus is a major risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, and upper endoscopy with surveillance biopsies is recommended for patients with Barrett esophagus. Medical therapy with anti-secretory agents (H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors) is effective for most patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Surgical fundoplications and endoscopic treatment modalities are mechanical treatment options for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. See PubMed Review.
Abstract: Sleep related gastroesophageal reflux as a distinct clinical entity.
Many patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) have frequent nighttime heartburn as well as sleep related gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Sleep related GER has been shown to play an important role in the development of esophagitis and other complications of GER. Aim: This review is intended to present a conceptual argument that nighttime heartburn and associated sleep related GER should be recognized as a distinct clinical entity deserving of special attention with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of GERD. More at PubMed, A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
Abstract: Helicobacter pylori and Non-malignant Diseases.
It is well known that Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with many nonmalignant disorders such as gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastric polyp, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)/aspirin-induced gastric injury, and functional dyspepsia...More at PubMed.
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November is Heartburn Awareness Month.
Source: National Heartburn Alliance
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