September 22, 2011
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is diagnosed when an individual suffers symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn at least twice a week. GERD is a digestive disorder that is the result of stomach acid returning to the esophagus, consequently irritating the lining of the esophagus. Initially lifestyle change and self-care procedures are utilized in order to try and control the reflux and heartburn. However, when these symptoms occur frequently or interfere with daily activities and are not efficiently managed with home remedies it is important to make an appointment to visit a medical professional.
GERD is most likely caused by a weakened band of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus. Under normal circumstances, once food passes through the esophagus to the stomach, the valve at the bottom of the esophagus will close and prevent liquids and stomach acid from coming back up into the esophageal tract. When this valve does not function properly an individual will begin to experience the symptoms of GERD which will worsen over time. Complications include scar tissue or ulcers in the esophageal tract.
Beyond the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn sufferers may also experience a persistent cough and trouble with swallowing. Chronic cough is defined as a cough that has persisted eight or more weeks and its presence has yet to be explained. It is not thoroughly understood how a dry cough which may worsen at night, is related to GERD although it continues to be researched. Studies have found that by treating GERD the cough is also managed when cough is the presenting symptom by a patient. A plausible explanation of the relationship is that coughing is an effective way for the body to rid itself of irritants and excess fluids. Sufferers of GERD and concurrent chronic cough may find relief in avoiding lying down after meals, not eating meals that exacerbate the condition, and elevating the head when sleeping.
There are a variety of measures which are adequate for diagnosing GERD once the initial medical appointment has been made. These include x-rays, endoscopies, and esophageal tests that measure the amount of stomach acid regurgitating into the esophagus. To begin treatment a patient will initiate lifestyle changes such as attaining and maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding foods that worsen heartburn, and abstaining from food and liquids close to bedtime. Along with these actions a patient can also take over-the-counter antacids and medications. If through following this regimen symptoms are not alleviated, prescription medications will be recommended. As with the over-the-counter medications there are prescriptions available that reduce acid production and there are also medications available that can strengthen the valve that connects the esophagus and stomach. Additionally, these medications assist with emptying the contents of your stomach more quickly. In more severe cases surgery to repair the esophagus or the valve located between the esophagus and stomach are considered when prescriptions are not adequately treating GERD or when long term use of medicine is not desired.
GERD is a digestive disease for which there are numerous treatments available depending on the severity. Untreated GERD is uncomfortable and interferes with daily living. Find out about ways to treat GERD in order to avoid a chronic cough be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at www.refluxremedy.com today!
Filed under Gerd Symptoms by gina
September 16, 2011
Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD is a medical condition that causes stomach acid to back up into the esophagus or throat. GERD coughing is common since stomach acid is not only irritating to the esophagus, it is also irritating to the delicate tissues of the throat as well. Although not all cases of acid reflux result in GERD coughing, it is very common. Other signs and symptoms of GERD include frequent throat clearing, a burning sensation in the chest area or throat, persistent heartburn and even chest pain.
Sometimes, symptoms of GERD can be so severe, that they actually can mimic a heart attack. When symptoms of chest pain occur, it should never be assumed that the symptoms are related to acid reflux disease or GERD. When in doubt, a medical evaluation should be sought to make sure the symptoms are not cardiovascular in nature. To ease symptoms of GERD coughing, drinking plenty of fluid can help dilute stomach acid so that they are not as irritating. In addition, over-the-counter acid inhibitors can also help reduce symptoms.
Home remedies that are effective in reducing GERD coughing and other symptoms include elevating the head of the bed when sleeping. This helps prevent the backflow of stomach acid from migrating into the throat. In addition, avoiding certain foods such as chocolate, peppermint and highly spiced and fatty foods can reduce symptoms. Smoking and drinking alcohol can also exacerbate acid reflux symptoms, so cutting down can be beneficial.
Excessive weight can worsen GERD, as can certain medications. These include beta blockers, which relax the lower esophageal sphincter or LES, allowing stomach acid to backflow into the esophagus. Other medications that tend to relax the LES include narcotic pain relievers and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Ativan. In addition to over-the-counter acid blocking medications, antacid tablets can help neutralize stomach acid.
When symptoms of GERD coughing and other acid reflux symptoms occur, the physician may recommend diagnostic testing to determine the extent of the condition. Medical tests that may be recommended include an upper GI series or endoscopy, and a blood test that can check for a condition called h pylori. This bacterium can promote the development of stomach ulcers and cause symptoms similar to those of GERD. In addition, the physician will want to determine if the esophagus has been damaged by acid erosion, and if so, what the extent is. A condition called Barrett?s esophagus can cause significant symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, GERD coughing and heartburn. In addition, untreated Barrett?s may increase the risk of esophageal cancer in certain individuals.
It is important to note that when symptoms of GERD occur, and particularly GERD coughing, remedies such as cough medicine will be ineffective in treating the condition. Unless efforts are made to specifically alleviate the migration of stomach acid into the throat, coughing and pronounced throat clearing will persist. Although GERD is seldom a serious medical condition, symptoms can be intrusive and prevent the enjoyment of certain foods. When home remedies for GERD are ineffective for treating symptoms, the physician can implement an appropriate treatment plan that may include prescription medication, dietary changes and a weight loss program. For more information on the causes and cures of GERD coughing be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at www.refluxrememdy.com today!
Filed under Gerd Symptoms by gina
Gastroesophageal reflux is the process whereby a small amount of the stomach contents flows back into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux is commonly known as heartburn and is not unusual in humans. It is often brought on by the drinking of alcohol or the eating of certain foods that are fatty or spicy. Changes in posture such as lying down can also increase the occurrence.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), on the other hand, occurs when a person experiences gastroesophageal reflux on a frequent basis. It is typically the direct result of a faulty sphincter in the lower portion of the esophagus, but there are many theories as to exactly what causes the incompetent sphincter. Although a faulty sphincter is thought to be responsible for the majority of GERD cases, other causes may include things such as systemic diseases like lupus, ingestion of corrosive materials, or extended intubation. The malfunction of this sphincter with its subsequent regurgitation results in a burning sensation in the region behind the sternum. Over time, this persistent reflux directly results in the inflammation of the esophageal lining which can eventually reach down to the muscular level. Once the inflammation penetrates into the muscular level, it causes muscle damage which further increases the amount and frequency of reflux that a person will experience. There is no one type of person who becomes afflicted with GERD. It is a very non-selective disease that occurs in the old and the young, the thin and the overweight, in both genders, and in all ethnicities. Because the disease is non-selective in who it affects, the diagnosis is often difficult and tends to rely on patient history, x-ray studies, and endoscopy of the esophagus. Diagnosis of GERD can often be tricky as it can mimic other disease processes such hiatal hernia.
Hiatal hernia can mimic GERD, but it is a completely different condition. The cause is not known, but it can occur as a result of trauma or it can be congenital. Basically, a hiatal hernia is the protrusion of a portion of the stomach through the diaphragm opening. It can be an ongoing occurrence or an infrequent one. When it is of the ongoing variety, it is known as a rolling para-esophageal hernia. This variety has a low incidence and tends to account for approximately ten percent of all cases of hiatal hernia. The more common form of hiatal hernia is the sporadic type which is known as a sliding hernia. This type accounts for approximately ninety percent of all hiatal hernias and tends to happen in response to changes in position. Essentially what happens is that the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm’s opening when a recumbent (lying down) position occurs. When a more upright position is achieved, the stomach slides back to its normal position. Many people who have both types of this hernia are asymptomatic, but others exhibit signs of gastroesophageal reflux especially when lying down. When reflux occurs, it is considered to be of concern and treatment is usually recommended.
For more information on Hiatal hernia and GERD be sure to contact Reflux Remedy at www.refluxremedy.com today!
June 14, 2011
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, otherwise known as GERD, can be broken down quite logically. Gastro refers to the stomach, and esophageal refers to the esophagus. Reflux typically means to flow backwards opposite from the direction intended. Thusly, GERD is caused by the contents of the stomach making their way back up the esophageal tube, much like the explosions of an active volcano.
For the vast majority of the 1900s, what is now known as GERD was simply referred to as heartburn. Many symptoms were treated with one basic type of antacid sold under a handful of different names. Although many people suffered from a variety of discomfort caused by stomach acids returning into the esophagus, it wasn?t until the 1990s that doctors attained a thorough understanding of the causes and treatments of GERD.
The disease typically begins with a person experiencing burning sensations in the hours following the ingestion of certain trigger foods, which can vary for each person based on several factors, including genetics and geography. In some cases, the burning sensations and pains caused by GERD can extend into the back, ribs, and shoulder blades. Pain in the back caused by GERD can be constant with sudden bursts of intensity, making it difficult for a person to conduct themselves in social and professional situations. In these types of cases, doctors typically ratchet-up the quantity and intensity of the prescriptions and may eventually recommend surgery. Thankfully, natural alternatives to treating GERD are available and affordable.
The quickest and most effective way to get rid of back pain caused by GERD is a drastic change in diet. Foods such as cheese, salsa, mustard, and chocolate are just a small handful of the hundreds of possible foods that can trigger intense symptoms. Identifying the foods that give you problems and avoiding them can provide steady relief of back pains caused by GERD. Drinking at least 60 ounces of water every day will decrease the acid ratios in your body, lessening their ability to cause discomfort. In short, a little awareness and dedication can go much farther than a bottle of pills.
For more information on GERD as it relates to back pain visit www.refluxremedy.com today!