What Is GERD?

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, affects about 20 percent of people in the United States. GERD is a chronic condition where stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus, causing discomfort, and if left untreated, can lead to much more severe health issues.

What Causes GERD?

GERD may result from a dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle ring that closes off the stomach from the esophagus. Factors that can exacerbate this condition include:

  • Obesity: Increased abdominal pressure can contribute to reflux.
  • Hiatal Hernia: Part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm, impairing LES function.
  • Diet: Consumption of fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, onions, spicy food, and citrus fruits.
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, alcohol use, eating large meals or lying down right after eating.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of GERD can include one or more of the following issues:

  • Heartburn: A burning discomfort that moves from the stomach to the abdomen or chest and even up into the throat.
  • Regurgitation: A sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up to your throat or mouth.
  • Difficulty Swallowing.
  • Chronic Cough.
  • Laryngitis.
  • Disrupted Sleep: Awakening frequently due to discomfort.
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How Is GERD Treated?

Treatment for GERD aims to reduce reflux, manage symptoms, and heal the esophagus:

  • Lifestyle Modifications: GERD can be managed with weight loss, dietary changes, and avoiding food triggers.
  • Medications: GERD can be addressed with the help of over-the-counter antacids, H2 blockers, or proton pump inhibitors that reduce acid production.
  • Surgical Options: Procedures like Nissen fundoplication for patients not responding to other treatments.

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Why Choose Us?

Peak Gastroenterology Associates is renowned for its clinical excellence and unparalleled patient care in treating GERD. Our dedicated team provides comprehensive diagnostic assessments and tailored treatments, employing the latest technologies and therapies for optimal outcomes. Our patient-first approach ensures that your journey to better health is comforting and successful.

Peak Gastroenterology Associates has Colorado Springs, Denver, and Lone Tree locations. Our GI specialists employ simple treatments for GERD symptom relief. Our practice also offers the full continuum of care, with renowned physicians specializing in gastroenterology, pathology, anesthesiology, hepatology, and other fields. Request an appointment with Peak Gastroenterology Associates over the phone or online.


What is GERD?

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into your esophagus and irritates tissues. It often feels like a burning sensation in the back of your throat or chest. GERD symptoms usually occur at least once or twice a week and can cause discomfort that negatively affects your quality of life if left untreated.

What are the symptoms of GERD?

Common symptoms associated with GERD include:

  • Chest pain or burning
  • A burning sensation at the back of your throat
  • Painful or difficulty swallowing
  • A sensation of a lump in your throat
  • A sour taste in your mouth
  • A hoarse voice
  • Chronic cough
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Worsening asthma

What are the risk factors for GERD?

Common risk factors for GERD include obesity, pregnancy, hiatal hernia, and delayed stomach emptying. Smoking, eating large meals at night, taking certain medicines, and consuming alcohol, coffee, or fried or fatty foods can aggravate the condition.

How is GERD diagnosed?

To diagnose GERD, your gastroenterologist reviews your symptoms and discusses your medical history. They complete a physical exam and may check for complications using endoscopy, imaging tests like X-rays, acid probe tests, or other diagnostic procedures to find a treatment plan that best suits your needs.

What is the treatment for GERD?

Your GERD treatment plan depends on the severity of your condition. Your gastroenterologist might recommend one or more of the following solutions for symptom relief:

  • Medications: Taking over-the-counter or prescription medicines can alleviate GERD symptoms. Examples include antacids, drugs that reduce or block acid production, or medicines that strengthen your lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Alternative Treatments: Alternative treatments that may offer GERD symptom relief include herbal remedies and relaxation therapies that reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle changes that can diminish acid reflux include not smoking, weight loss, not eating right before bed, avoiding trigger foods, not wearing tight-fitting clothing, and elevating the head of your bed.
  • Surgeries: In severe cases of GERD that don’t subside with other treatments, your doctor might recommend surgical procedures that tighten your lower esophageal sphincter using the top portion of your stomach or a tiny ring of magnetic beads.

Don’t live with unpleasant GERD symptoms when simple treatments are available at Peak Gastroenterology Associates. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online today.

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