Gastroenterologists located in Hilliard, Ohio and serving residents in the greater Columbus area
Ignoring the chronic heartburn and other symptoms that come with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause long-term damage to your esophagus, but Krishna Rayapudi, MD, and Rohan Modi, MD have solutions. At Gastro Office in Hilliard, Ohio, The team provides high-quality and accurate gastrointestinal services to the men and women in his care. Don’t ignore your GERD symptoms. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
GERD Q & A
What is GERD?
GERD is short for gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is chronic acid reflux. Acid reflux, which is also called heartburn, occurs when your stomach acid flows back from your stomach into your esophagus. Most people have acid reflux occasionally, but when it consistently happens more than twice a week, it could be the more chronic form of acid reflux called GERD.
Common GERD symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Bad breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Heartburn after eating
- Difficulty or painful swallowing
- Regurgitating food or sour liquid
- Having the sensation that a lump is in your throat
In some cases, GERD symptoms are more persistent at night and lead to a chronic cough, laryngitis, or asthma. GERD can also disrupt your sleep.
When left untreated, GERD can permanently damage tissue in your esophagus leading to painful ulcers and an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
What causes GERD?
Acid reflux is a common condition that’s typically triggered by several factors, including:
- Some medications
- Consuming certain foods
When you have GERD though, there may also be a problem with your esophageal sphincter. These sphincter muscles are located at the bottom of the esophagus and prevent your stomach contents and acid from flowing into the esophagus. If you have GERD, your sphincter opens when it shouldn’t or has become weakened.
Your risk of developing GERD increase if you’re overweight, pregnant, or a smoker.
How is GERD diagnosed?
During your appointment, Dr. Rayapudi performs a full physical exam, discusses your symptoms, and reviews your medical history. He might also recommend several tests, including:
- Upper endoscopy: to examine the stomach and esophagus and take a biopsy, if needed
- Upper GI series: X-rays to look for gastrointestinal abnormalities
- Esophageal pH and impedance monitoring: measures acid levels in your esophagus
- Esophageal manometry: evaluates your esophageal muscles while you’re swallowing
To help Dr. Rayapudi reach a diagnosis, be prepared to share as much information about your symptoms and triggers as possible.
How is GERD treated?
Based on your examination, Dr. Rayapudi might suggest a variety of other-the-counter or prescription medications to treat your condition. These medications are used to neutralize stomach acids, empty the stomach faster, or decrease the amount of acid produced.
In addition to medication, Dr. Rayapudi often provides lifestyle changes to reduce your heartburn. These typically include healthy weight management, avoiding smoking, eating slowly, and avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux.
To manage your GERD symptoms, call Gastro Office or schedule an appointment online today.
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