Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) / Acid Reflux

GERD Specialist in Hyderabad | Best Doctor for Acid Reflux in Hyderabad

When stomach content moves into the esophagus (flow backward), the condition is known as Gastroesophageal efflux disease (GERD). It is a common condition that most often becomes frequent and causes severe symptoms, inflammation, irritation, and injury to the esophagus. Chronic and untreated acid reflux may damage the esophagus, pharynx, or respiratory tract. There are several other names for this condition – such as Heartburn, acid regurgitation, acid reflux, and acid indigestion. If you have this condition, you must see a GERD specialist in Hyderabad – A gastroenterologist or a surgical gastroenterologist for GERD Surgery or Laparoscopic Nissen’s Fundoplication for GERD.

Signs and Symptoms of GERD

  • Heartburn is the most common symptom
  • Mild heartburn may occur twice a week (mild GERD)
  • Moderate to Severe GERD – symptoms may manifest more than twice a week
  • Severe GERD is associated with inflammation in the esophagus
  • A burning and painful sensation in the middle of the chest
  • Bad breath
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Regurgitation of the stomach content
  • Chest pain
  • Irritated feeling in the esophagus and sore throat

GERD Diagnosis

A gastroenterologist begins the diagnosis of GERD with a comprehensive physical examination by taking into consideration the medical history and symptoms of the patient. If a person is presented with the typical symptoms of GERD – such as regurgitation and heartburn then the doctor diagnoses the cause as GERD without further referring any additional tests.

The gastroenterologist may recommend tests if the GERD specialist suspects esophageal damage due to atypical symptoms and severity of the reflux. If the symptoms do not respond to initial treatment, the surgical gastroenterologist may consider anti-reflux surgery.

The diagnostic tests for GERD include the following:

  • Reflux testing (wireless pH/pH impedance)
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Barium esophagram
  • Esophageal manometry [esophageal motility (movement) studies]

Complications Associated with GERD

  • Esophagitis
  • Esophageal ulcer
  • Esophageal Strictures
  • Barrett’s Esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer

Causes and Risk Factors of GERD

The lower esophageal sphincter ensures that the acid remains intact in the stomach. It is a ring of muscles that helps keep the top portion of the stomach closed, but the following factors cause the sphincter to relax:

  • Eating a heavy, greasy (oily), and large meal
  • Eating soon before going to bed
  • Lying flat soon after eating
  • Eating spicy or fried foods – onions, cabbage, citrus fruits
  • Consuming carbonated beverages and alcohol
  • Belching
  • Eating certain foods such as peppermint, chocolate, and high-fat foods.
  • Increased abdominal pressure due to obesity or overweight or during pregnancy in women
  • Inhaling second-hand smoke or smoking
  • Usage of certain medications such as painkillers, calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, asthma, and antidepressants.

Hiatal hernia can cause the opening of the diaphragm through which the upper part of the stomach moves up. When this happens the pressure in the esophageal sphincter lowers and acid reflux occurs.

GERD Treatment in Hyderabad

To manage and relieve symptoms of GERD, your doctor might encourage you to make certain lifestyle changes, like:

One should make changes in their lifestyle to manage and get rid of GERD symptoms. A GERD Specialist in Hyderabad may recommend and encourage us to make the following lifestyle changes:

  • Weight management (reducing weight if applicable)
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding carbonated and acidic beverages
  • Avoiding heavy and big meals in the evening
  • Raising the head of the bed by around 8 to 10 inches
  • Elevating the head during sleep
  • maintaining a moderate weight, if applicable
  • waiting a few hours after eating to lie down

Treatment also includes prescription and other medicines such as antacids, H2 receptors blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.

Bottom Line

Acid reflux can become problematic as it interferes with daily living. A majority of people can get relief from acid reflux through home remedies, lifestyle changes, and medical treatment. In some cases, surgery is recommended when lifestyle changes, medicines, and home-based treatment have not stopped the symptoms. A surgical gastroenterologist or a GERD specialist in Hyderabad will recommend surgery if a person develops complications associated with GERD. Fundoplication is the recommended option.

Read more about “Laparoscopic Nissens fundoplication for GERD

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