Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in San Antonio, TX
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What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, sometimes referred to as GERD, is a term used to describe the result of the common experience of acid reflux in an individual. Acid reflux is the name given to a singular occurrence of acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus, described as heartburn.
A patient is often diagnosed with GERD when acid reflux happens in mild cases one or fewer times in a week or when moderate-to-severe acid reflux is experienced, at minimum, twice a week. GERD can occur at any time in life, but it typically develops close to 40 years of age. If ignored, it can develop into a complication called Barrett’s esophagus. If you are experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease, we urge you to request an appointment with a gastrointestinal specialist at your nearest San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location in San Antonio, TX.
What causes GERD?
Whenever you swallow food, it migrates through the esophagus and beyond the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) into the stomach. Whenever the LES is compromised, it can weaken and fail to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. In most cases, there is not a single cause that leads to this occurring frequently; however, you are at greater risk of developing GERD if you experience any of the following criteria:
- Eat spicy foods
- Being overweight
- Eat raw onion or garlic
- Eat large meals late at night
- Consume alcohol or coffee
- Hiatal hernia (when the upper part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm)
- Lie down often after eating
- Scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder)
- Tobacco use
What are the main symptoms of GERD?
The main symptoms of GERD are similar to acid reflux but may occur more frequently. Symptoms include:
- Poor-quality sleep
- Long-term cough
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquids
- Chest pain
- Unintentional weight loss
- Lump-in-the-throat sensation
We urge you to request an appointment with a GI specialist at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location near you today if you notice any of these symptoms occurring often, are experiencing pain, or if you self-medicate with over-the-counter heartburn medication more than two times per week.
What are the treatments for GERD?
Treating GERD may consist of lifestyle modifications, medical intervention, or both. Treatment approaches to prevent or alleviate GERD in San Antonio, TX patients include:
- LINX® device (magnetic beads wrapped around the junction where the esophagus and stomach meet)
- Avoid eating at least two hours before bedtime
- Inform your GI specialist about any medications you take
- Non-prescription antacids
- Avoid foods and beverages likely to cause acid reflux (see the list above)
- Medication to strengthen the LES
- Sleep on an incline
- Eat slowly and in moderation
- Quit smoking
- Limit caffeine/coffee consumption
- Fundoplication (surgical procedure wrapping the stomach around the LES)
- Remain awake and standing after eating
- Prescription-strength antacids (H-2 receptor blockers)
- Lose weight
How can I tell if it's acid reflux or GERD?
The variation between gastroesophageal reflux disease and acid reflux may seem perplexing. Simply put, GERD is really just acid reflux that occurs multiple times a week for an extended amount of time. If you have heartburn or further symptoms every day or often throughout the week, or you have symptoms that won’t ease with OTC medications, you might be dealing with GERD.
What types of food should I avoid if I am experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease?
Foods that heighten the collections of acid in the stomach should be abstained from if you experience GERD. A few examples of these foods are:
- Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits
- Sugary foods
- Spicy foods
- Salt and pepper
- High-fat foods
- Red meat
Can GERD be life-threatening?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is generally not life-threatening. It could make everyday tasks difficult from time to time, but you can likely find some reprieve with proper treatment. If not treated, gastroesophageal reflux disease could lead to more complicated GI conditions. Some may involve esophagitis (inflammation of the esophageal lining) and Barrett’s esophagus, that damages the esophagus (the structure that joins the mouth to the stomach). Obtaining the treatment required to properly manage this disease can help protect your general health and wellness.
How long might it take for GERD to clear up after treatment begins?
There are several factors that determine how long it may take before you start to feel better if you experience GERD. These include the form of medication you’re taking, the damage that has been brought on by gastroesophageal reflux disease prior to diagnosis, and how well you adhere to a diet free of food that trigger your symptoms. That being said, with the proper treatment you will probably start to notice that your GERD symptoms lessen as time goes on. Although you might not be able to cure GERD completely, you will likely be able to have control over your symptoms successfully.
Find relief from GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a very common concern impacting the daily lives of many people. With appropriate medical treatment, however, the condition can be managed and its distressing symptoms minimized. If you or someone you love suffers from GERD, the experienced team of GI specialists in San Antonio, TX can help. Please call a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location near you to learn more about GERD treatment.
A very relaxed experience, with the best customer service (team members) and by the Doctor Flores, very friendly and professional at the same time.
I have been seeing Dr. Franklin for over 8 years. He has always taken the time to visit, exam, and discuss my healthcare with care and solutions to improve my digestive system.
Clean area, friendly.,and dr listens to you
Dr. Bullock has Been my GI doctor for several years and i am happy with the treatment I have received to date. He is easy to talk to, explains everything in detail an more than anything has helped me with my GERD and other GI issues.