Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is commonly known as acid reflux disease.  It occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly, allowing acid to back up into the esophagus.

The digestive organs  affected by GERD are esophagus (tube that connects the throat to the stomach), duodenum (the first part of the small intestine which receives the digested food from the stomach) and the stomach (the main part where digestion of the food occurs and produces acid that helps in the digestion).

What can you do if you suffer from reflux?
 It is important that you consult a doctor when you experience the symptoms twice a week.  An endoscopy is a test for diagnosing acid related diseases. After diagnosis, possible treatment should be followed by taking the prescribed medicines.  If you are taking other medicines, it is advisable to inform your doctor since there certain medicines that can further increase acid.

If your lifestyle increases the development of the disease, changing the habit is best including food that aggravates the acid production in the stomach.  After taking a meal, take atleast three hours before going to bed at night to prevent reflux where the acid goes to the esophagus.  Losing excess weight and avoiding certain food or beverages helps reduce the risk of GERD.