GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, affects about 20 percent of people in the United States. If heartburn, or a burning sensation in your throat or chest, associated with GERD negatively affects your life, you don’t have to live with the discomfort. At Peak Gastroenterology Associates, with locations in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Salida, Denver, Woodland Park, and Parker, Colorado, the expert gastroenterology team uses simple treatments for GERD symptom relief. Request an appointment with Peak Gastroenterology Associates over the phone or online to learn more about your options.
WHAT IS GERD?
GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up 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
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:
Taking over-the-counter or prescription medicines can alleviate GERD symptoms. Examples include antacids, medications that reduce or block acid production, and medicines that strengthen your lower esophageal sphincter.
Alternative treatments that may offer GERD symptom relief include herbal remedies and relaxation therapies that reduce stress and anxiety.
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.
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.