Diagnosis and Treatment of Reflux Disease (GERD)

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. When you eat, food passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus (also called the food pipe or swallowing tube). Once food is in the stomach, a ring of muscle fibers prevents food from moving backward into the esophagus. These muscle fibers are called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. If this sphincter muscle doesn't close well, food, liquid, and stomach acid can leak back into the esophagus. This is called reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. This reflux may cause symptoms, or can even damage the esophagus. More common symptoms include feeling that food may be left trapped behind the breastbone, heartburn or a burning pain in the chest (under the breastbone), and nausea after eating. Less common symptoms include cough or wheezing, difficulty swallowing, hiccups, hoarseness or change in voice, regurgitation of food and sore throat. If your symptoms are severe or they come back after you have been treated, esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (EGD) is often used to identify the cause and examine the esophagus (swallowing tube) for damage. We inserts a thin tube with a camera on the end through your mouth. The tube is then passed into your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. The test is simple and accurate. If you suffer possibly from GERD, we may be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and its treatment.

 

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