Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Adult
- 15 min15 minutes
- Depends on ConsultDepends on Consult
- Location 1
WHY DO I GET HEART BURN? Normally, food travels down the esophagus and stays in the stomach to be digested. However, when a person has GERD, food and acid from stomach move back up into the esophagus. When this happens, the esophagus becomes sore and inflamed. Over time, GERD can create ulcers in the lining of the esophagus. CAUSES This condition is caused by a problem with the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach (lower esophageal sphincter, or LES). Normally, the LES muscle closes after food passes through the esophagus to the stomach. When the LES is weakened or abnormal, it does not close properly, and that allows food and stomach acid to go back up into the esophagus. The LES can be weakened by certain dietary substances, medicines, and medical conditions, including: SYMPTOMS Symptoms of this condition include: • Heartburn. • Difficult or painful swallowing. • The feeling of having a lump in the throat. • A bitter taste in the mouth. • Bad breath. • Having a large amount of saliva. • Having an upset or bloated stomach. • Belching. • Chest pain. • Shortness of breath or wheezing. DIAGNOSIS Your health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. To determine if you have mild or severe GERD, your health care provider may also monitor how you respond to treatment. You may also have other tests, including: • An endoscopy to examine your stomach and esophagus with a small camera. TREATMENT The goal of treatment is to help relieve your symptoms and to prevent complications. Treatment for this condition may vary depending on how severe your symptoms are. • Changes to your diet. • Medicine. • Rarely Surgery. HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS Diet • Avoiding foods and drinks such as: ◦ Coffee ◦ Drinks that contain alcohol. ◦ Carbonated drinks or sodas. ◦ Chocolate and cocoa. ◦ Peppermint and mint flavorings. ◦ Garlic and onions. ◦ Spicy and acidic foods ◦ Citrus fruit juices and citrus fruits ◦ Tomato-based foods ◦ Fried and fatty foods ◦ High-fat dairy items, such as whole milk, butter, and cream cheese. • Eat small, frequent meals instead of large meals. • Avoid drinking large amounts of liquid with your meals. • Avoid eating meals during the 2–3 hours before bedtime. • Avoid lying down right after you eat. General Instructions • Raise the head end of your bed 6 inches. • Try to reduce your stress, such as with yoga or meditation. • If you are overweight,reduce your weight to an amount that is healthy for you.