Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a very unique and painful condition experienced by a small but growing number of patients every year. It takes place when the stomach contents, whether food or liquid, leak backwards from the stomach and back up into the esophagus. This event irritates, weakens and can permanently damage the esophagus, affecting quality of life, basic eating and drinking habits, and other major bodily functions and reactions to food and drink consumption.
While many treatments for GERD involve lifestyle changes and the avoiding of foods that cause problems in the first place, drugs can still help the process. Over-the-counter, other drugs can counteract GERD, and improve the life and nutrition habits of almost any patient over a long period of time.
There are many causes and faults at play with GERD, and they can include risk factors that promote reflux and prevent the esophagus from closing up effectively after consuming food. These risk factors and causes can include obesity, too much alcohol consumption, smoking, and other chronic and lifestyle conditions that can be prevented through improved diet and exercise.
Additionally, pregnant women may find digestion problems leading to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, as well as people who dealt with hiatal hernias. For other people, a variety of drugs can cause and exacerbate GERD problems, including antidepressant drugs, sedatives for insomnia or anxiety disorders, and calcium channel blockers taken by patients with already high blood pressure.
Of course, speak to your doctor about whether or not your regular medications may be causing heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, and never stop taking a medication or change dosages without first speaking to your medical professional.
The symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease are numerous, but the most basic ones include feeling as though food is stuck behind your breastbone and cannot be dislodged, as well as heartburn and the sensation of a burning in the chest behind the breastbone. Typically, these symptoms are increased by bending over, lying down, or eating further, and can be relieved by antacids.
Other symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease include partial regurgitation, coughing or wheezing after consuming food, difficulty swallowing, and the hiccups in a routine manner, and even a sore throat after food consumption. Symptoms, when presented commonly and consistently over time, can be cured with medicine, as well as lifestyle changes like exercise and better nutrition.
Symptoms can be cured through basic lifestyle change, as well as medication.