Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Texas
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What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a term to describe the result of the common presentation of acid reflux in one's daily life. Acid reflux is the name given to a single episode or experience of acid regurgitation from the stomach into the esophagus, described as heartburn.
A person is regularly diagnosed with GERD when acid reflux is experienced one or fewer times a week in mild cases or at least two times per week in moderate-to-severe cases. GERD may present at any point in a person's life, but it most commonly begins about the age of 40.
When ignored, people have been known to come to progress to a complication referred to as Barrett’s esophagus. If you maybe have gastroesophageal reflux disease, we strongly recommend that you request a consultation with a provider at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in Texas as soon as possible.
What causes GERD?
Anytime one chooses to swallow food, it passes through the esophagus and beyond the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and then to the stomach. Whenever the LES grows compromised, it can weaken and fail to stop stomach acid from moving back into the esophagus. Most commonly, there is not an individual reason that encourages this happening repeatedly, but you are at greater odds of suffering from or developing GERD if you:
- Drink coffee
- Have scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder)
- Eat raw onion or garlic
- Lie down often after eating
- Eat large meals late at night
- Consume alcohol
- Use tobacco
- Are overweight
- Are pregnant
- Consume spicy foods
- Have a hiatal hernia (when the upper portion of the stomach extends into the diaphragm)
What are the major symptoms of GERD?
The major signs of GERD are similar to acid reflux but may occur more often. These symptoms include:
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- Poor-quality sleep
- Chest pain
- Long-term cough
- Lump-in-the-throat sensation
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unintentional weight loss
We encourage you to request a consultation with a gastroenterologist at your nearest DFW Texas Digestive Disease Consultants as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms regularly and are in pain, or if you take over-the-counter heartburn medication more than twice a week.
What are the treatments for GERD?
Managing GERD may consist of lifestyle changes, medical intervention, or both. Treatment approaches to avoid or minimize GERD include:
- Avoid tobacco use
- Take medication to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter
- Lose weight
- Do not consume foods or drinks likely to cause acid reflux (see those listed above)
- LINX® device (magnetic beads wrapped around the junction of the stomach and esophagus)
- Fundoplication (surgical procedure performed to wrap the stomach around the LES)
- Prescription-strength antacids (H-2 receptor blockers)
- Do not eat at least two hours before going to bed
- Stay awake and stand up after eating
- Non-prescription antacids
- Eat slowly and in moderation
- Tell your gastroenterologist about any medications you take
- Limit coffee/caffeine consumption
- Sleep on an incline
What is the difference between acid reflux and GERD?
The variation between GERD and acid reflux may be perplexing. Simply put, GERD is just acid reflux that occurs multiple times a week for an extended period of time. Should you have heartburn or other symptoms daily or several times throughout the week, or you experience symptoms that do not diminish with over-the-counter options, you might be suffering from GERD.
Are there any foods I should stay away from if I am experiencing GERD?
If you experience gastroesophageal reflux disease, avoiding foods that promote acid accumulation in the stomach may be beneficial. Examples of these foods include:
- Foods high in sugar
- Foods containing salt and pepper
- Coffee, pop, and other highly caffeinated beverages
- Red meat
- Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits
- Spicy foods
- High-fat foods
Our team at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants can provide further details on foods to avoid if you suffer from GERD.
Is GERD a life-threatening disease?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is not likely to be life-threatening. It may make day-to-day tasks difficult at times, but you should be able to find relief with professional treatment. In the absence of care, GERD might lead to more severe conditions. These include Barrett’s esophagus, which can damage the esophagus (the structure that connects the mouth to the stomach), and esophagitis (irritation of the esophageal lining). Undergoing the treatment required for GERD can help protect your health and wellness.
How long might it take for GERD to improve after treatment begins?
The time it takes to experience relief from gastroesophageal reflux disease can depend on a few factors. These can include the form of medication you are taking, what sort of damage has been caused by GERD prior to diagnosis, and if you follow a diet free of the foods that worsen symptoms. With proper care, you will likely notice that symptoms of GERD diminish over time. While you may not be able to get rid of GERD entirely, you should be able to address and manage its effects.
Find relief from GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is an extremely common struggle impacting the lives of millions of individuals. With professional medical care, however, it can be well-managed and its distressing symptoms alleviated. If you or someone you love suffers from GERD, the board-certified team of GI specialists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants is here to help. We urge you to request a consultation at a TDDC location near you to learn more about GERD treatment in Texas.
Exceedingly qualified gastroenterologist, outstanding bedside manners. Office staff and nursing are very thoughtful, thorough and friendly. Had outstanding care. Scheduled for a procedure in few weeks and have no doubt of the excellent care I would receive. Again I saw Dr Padda today for follow up. His calm, most congenial bedside manner made the visit most beneficial. He thoroughly examined me and scheduled me for Gastroscopy to follow up on my GERD/hiatal hernia problem. He is an eminently qualified gastroenterologist without equal.
I am very pleased with the help I get from Dr. Ramesh. He is kind, very knowledgeable, and works with me in every way he can to address my GERD and other issues.
I’ve been a patient of Dr. Houston’s for many many years now. Mostly preventative maintenance after some ulcers and GERD began when I was much younger. I couldn’t be happier with Dr. Houston, his staff and the office personnel. They are all very kind and sensitive to each patient’s particular needs and life experiences as well as current situations. I would recommend TDDC to anyone and the Southlake location in particular (and I have 😁)! I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Dr. Houston and this location! 👏🏻 Keep up the great work!!
Dr. Ramos has always been very detailed when explaining a summary of my health issues. He breaks things down on a level that is not demeaning at all. Things are explained in layman's terms yet done in gentle, non-scary way. He provides a future health plan to help you figure out how best to proceed. For example, his plan (and mine too) is to come off my GERD medicine. In order to do so, he talked me through a "game plan" so I can accomplish my health goal prior to my next visit. The hope/plan is to hopefully remove the meds, if not, then reduce the dosage. For his gentle honesty and his wonderful demeanor, I truly appreciate that in a physician. It makes me feel comfortable being in his care for the long term.
Dr. Mani has been my gastroenterologist for over 20 years. He has worked with me through digestive disorders, GERD, intestinal issues, and polyps. He has my complete confidence and I have recommended him to family, friends, and work associates.