Treatment for This Digestive Disease
A common condition that gastroenterologists at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center see is gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD. This digestive disease occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter, which acts as a valve between the esophagus and stomach, doesn’t close properly and stomach contents are able to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus.When stomach acid from this reflux touches the esophagus, you experience a burning sensation that we usually call heartburn.
Effects of GERD
Long-term, GERD can cause serious complications, including ulcers, bleeding in the esophagus or a narrowed esophagus from tissue damage scars. Some people may also develop Barrett’s esophagus, where cells in the esophageal lining take on an abnormal shape and color, which could lead to cancer. Asthma, chronic cough and pulmonary fibrosis may also be aggravated or even caused by GERD.
Occasionally having heartburn is common but doesn’t necessarily mean you have GERD. The main symptoms of GERD include persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people also have GERD but don’t experience heartburn, instead they experience chest pain, hoarseness in the morning or even trouble swallowing. You also could feel like you have food stuck in your throat, like you’re choking or like your throat is tight. You also may experience a dry cough and bad breath in association with GERD.
Treatment options for GERD include lifestyle changes, over-the-counter heartburn medicines, prescription heartburn medicines or surgery. Talk to your gastroenterologist to find the treatment option that is right for you.
Find a Doctor
Get started with a treatment plan by talking to a doctor at Cy-Fair Hospital today. To find a gastroenterologist who’s right for you, use our online doctor search.
Or, call (877) 274-0339 for more information or to schedule an appointment.