Causes And Treatments For GERD
Gastroesophageal Reflux or GERD happens when the gastric acid from the stomach goes back up into the esophagus. When GERD occurs, it usually causes an inflammation in the esophagus which is known as esophagitis. The term reflux means the upward or the reverse movement from the stomach going to the esophagus. A person suffering from GERD if left untreated because of the inflammation in the esophagus can feel great discomfort. It might even lead to more serious problems later on if not given immediate attention such as narrowing of the esophagus, severe esophagus damage which can lead to cancer, bleeding, and ulceration.
Symptoms Of GERD
There are several GERD symptoms, which can be observed in order to know that a person is suffering from GERD. The most common symptom for GERD is heartburn. It is the burning sensation that you can feel starting from the stomach rising to the lower chest then continues to the neck and throat. When an individual suffers from frequent heartburn, which occurs more than two times every week, then great chances that he or she has is suffering from GERD. Another indication for GERD is the sour or bitter taste at the back of the throat, which is usually experienced by people who have GERD.
In order to have an effective GERD treatment, the gastric acid of the patient must be lowered down while maintaining his intragastic pH above 4. Keeping the intragastric pH above 4 of a patient may help decrease the damage caused by the reflux gastric contents to the esophagus.
One way to effectively maintain the intragastric pH above 4 is by using proton pump inhibitor or PPI. PPI is the first line of defense or the recommended treatment for all GERD patients. PPI prevents the secretion of gastric acids by inhibiting the proton pumps of the cells that can be found in our stomach wall which in return prevents the secretion of acid.
In order to prevent heartburn, it would be advisable to follow a GERD diet plan. It is best to take foods that are low in fat and rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables. Low fat foods are digested quickly and leave the stomach while high in fiber foods pass through the colon rapidly reducing constipation. Instead of drinking carbonated drinks and coffee, it is much better to drink water. Lean meats such as ground beef and chicken without the skin are good for GERD patients. A patient can enjoy many variations of GERD diet. The important thing is to have a restricted diet in order to resolve the symptoms of acidity.