What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition of the digestive system that causes stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus which irritates the lining of the esophagus causing the common GERD symptoms.
Common Symptoms of GERD
- acid reflux
- chest pain
- difficulty swallowing
- sore throat
- dry cough
Risk Factors of GERD
The following are some conditions that can increase the risk of GERD:
- dry mouth
Diagnosis and Treatment
A physical examination by an allergist or medical physician is the most common way to determine if someone has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Other ways of diagnosing GERD include the following:
- X-ray, Barium Swallow, upper GI series
- ambulatory acid (pH) probe test
Treatment for GERD depends on the severity of the disease. Over-the-counter medications like antacids, H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms of GERD. For severe GERD, prescription-strength medications or surgery may be recommended.