What is acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux ?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux is a very common disorder in the digestive system. The term Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and the oesophagus.  Acid Reflux or oesophageal reflux refers to the back-flow of acid secretions s in the stomach or non-acidic stomach contents back into the oesophagus.

What is the symptoms gastro oesophageal reflux?

The symptoms of reflux oesophagitis is characterized by symptoms depend upon the tissue damage and repeated or prolonged exposure of the lining of the oesophagus to acidic or non-acidic contents from the stomach. In gastroesophageal reflux there is tissue damage in the oesophagus to called reflux esophagitis or erosive GERD.

 In oesophageal symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation of acid is most common. But sometimes there are no apparent symptoms in gastroesophageal reflux disease .Symptoms of acid reflux vary from person to person. Periodic heartburn is a very common symptom is after meals, occurring mainly at night and wakes a person from his sleep in gastric reflux. Main cause of this is the acid regurgitation.

Other symptoms of reflux oesophagitis:

  • Belching
  •  Sometimes Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  •  Excessive salivation
  • Sensation of food sticking in the oesophagus
  •  Chronic sore throat or inflammation, sometimes laryngitis
  •  Inflammation of the gums
  •  Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
  •  Hoarseness in the morning
  •  A sour taste in the mouth
  •  Bad breath
  • Chest pain

What is the cause of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)?

 Reflux oesophagitis occurs when the oesophageal defences are overwhelmed and the stomach contents are sent back to the oesophagus due to poor sphincter control mechanism (musculature weakness between the stomach and oesophagus causing acid reflux and damage to the tissues that reflux into the oesophagus.

Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):

The goal of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is to:

  •  Reduce the symptoms and make the patient feels better
  •  heal the oesophagus of inflammation or injury
  •  Manage or prevent complications
  • Ensure that the symptoms of GERD in the daily life can be controlled and minimal discomfort is there due to the gastric reflux

How to cure acid reflux with medications?

Medications IN TREATMENT for GERD:

The classes of medications prescribed to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) OR esophagitis treatment are pro-motility agents, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.

Lifestyle Changes in treatment of acid reflux:

-Dietary changes or changes in daily routine to reduce the complaint of heartburn which can be aggravated by foods

  • Heartburn is the burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone that we feel when stomach acid refluxes back into the oesophagus (food tube). . Maintaining an upright posture until the meal is digested may prevent the heartburn AND Avoid exertion after a meal.
  • best to eat early in the evening so that the meal is digested at bedtime
  • All meals should be eaten in relaxed stress-free surroundings.
  • Smaller meals and an upright, relaxed posture should help minimize reflux.
  1. How to reduce acid reflux BY EATING CORRECTLY:

Common beverages such as coffee, tea, cola, tomato juice, and citrus juice may aggravate symptoms by irritating the oesophagus or stimulating stomach acid production .Start by reducing fatty foods, onions, and chocolate AND certain foods which can compromise the sphincter's ability to prevent acid reflux. They can irritate the oesophagus and stimulate stomach acid production

  1. When on certain oral medications such as potassium supplements or the antibiotic tetracycline swallow medication in the upright position and wash it down with lots of water to prevent t acid reflux.
  2. Reduce weight.

Surgery in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux

Surgery in the treatment of acid reflux is an alternative considered when long-term medical treatment is either ineffective or undesirable, or when certain complications of GERD are present. Fundoplication Surgery for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is generally the surgical modality for treatment for acid reflux. In this procedure the upper curve of the stomach is wrapped around the oesophagus and sewn into place so that the lower portion of the oesophagus passes through a small tunnel of stomach muscle.

The procedure is also called laparoscopic Nissan fundoplication. It is minimally invasive procedure which is done to restore the function of the lower oesophageal sphincter which can be damaged causing the acid reflux. Surgery for treatment of gerd   is usually a last resort. Managing THE symptoms with changes to diet and lifestyle is first line treatment for gerd.

In case you are experiencing any of signs or symptoms related to acid reflux or would like to know more details about digestive care disorders like gastroesophageal s disease, please contact our centres at Wockhardt Hospital. Wockhardt Hospitals is one of the countries premium hospitals that are focused on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases and illnesses.

Wockhardt Hospitals, a chain of tertiary care super-specialty hospitals has more than 25 years of experience in the creation and management of Super Specialty Hospitals in India. We are a premiere hospital in the country specializing in the treatment of digestive disorders. We provide comprehensive digestive care to our patients.Our Gastroenterology Surgery and Minimal Invasive Surgery Department at Wockhardt Hospitals is regarded, as one of the centre’s for excellence.  Our clinical expertise and infrastructure support the treatment of health conditions, needing laparoscopic surgery or general surgery.  For further information visit Digestive Care Speciality at Wockhardt Hospital.

Wockhardt Hospitals is regarded  as a centre of excellence the healthcare domain,  having facilities in North Mumbai (Mira road), South Mumbai (Mumbai Central), Navi Mumbai (Vashi), Nagpur, Nasik, Rajkot and Surat. Wockhardt Hospitals has state-of-the-art infrastructure. Our prime objective is patient safety and quality of care at all levels. The guiding philosophy is to serve and enrich the Quality of Life of patients and to make life win.

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