Nothing irritates the lining of your esophagus like acid reflux, which you are likely to have when your stomach’s contents move up the esophagus. When acid reflux symptoms persist, you may develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The condition happens when your gastric juices (that reflux in your esophagus) exceed their limit. Such refluxes result in acid indigestion, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. Though GERD may not be dangerous, the persistent irritation on your esophagus may lead to severe health concerns, some of which may be fatal. The good news is you no longer have to worry about your frustrating symptoms with Frisco GERD professionals at The Bariatric Experts. The experts’ team specializes in diagnosing and treating the condition, preventing it from interfering with your life.
What are the common signs of GERD?
GERD is not a preserve for specific people. It affects adults and children alike. Though anyone can develop GERD, some individuals are at a higher risk of developing the condition than others. For instance, your chances of having GERD may be high when you:
- Are pregnant
- Smoke (or exposure to second-hand smoke)
- Are obese or overweight
- Take medications likely to cause acid reflux
GERD affects people differently. However, the most common symptoms you are likely to have with the condition include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
- Heartburn, especially after you eat which might worsen at night
Night-time acid reflux might result in:
- Disrupted sleep
- Chronic cough
- Regurgitation of food and liquids
- Bitter or sour taste
- Sore throat
Why do you experience heartburn?
Though heartburn may appear at any time, you are likely to experience this acid reflux symptom at its worst after eating. The symptom happens when you have a burning sensation in your chest, resulting from irritation on your esophageal lining, thanks to your stomach acid. Your heartburn may worsen when you recline in bed, preventing you from having a good sleep. The good news is your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications or prescription acid indigestion drugs to minimize the burning sensation.
Is GERD fatal?
GERD may not be life-threatening independently. However, its longevity may lead to severe health concerns including:
Barrett’s esophagus– you are likely to develop the condition when you have persistent GERD. Long-term effects of acid reflux may alter the cells in your esophageal lining. You are at risk of developing esophagus cancer when you have Barrett’s esophagus.
Esophagitis– this is the irritation and inflammation of your esophagus lining caused by stomach acid. The condition may result in esophagus ulcers, chest pain, trouble swallowing, and heartburn.
Esophageal cancer– the cancer is divided into adenocarcinoma (developing in your esophagus’ lower part) and squamous cell carcinoma (affecting your middle and upper parts of your esophagus).
Strictures– when your esophagus lining scars, it narrows your esophagus. The strictures may interfere with your drinking and eating, preventing the liquids and the food from getting to your stomach.
How can you prevent GERD symptoms?
- Do not eat before bedtime
- Maintain an upright posture when eating
- Eat small amounts of foods frequently
- Have a healthy body weight
- Stop smoking (if you do)
- Avoid consuming trigger foods and drinks
- Alleviate your head when you sleep
- Minimize fatty foods and dairy products like cheese
Schedule an appointment with your doctor when you realize you have persistent reflexes to discuss your treatment options.