The length of the esophagus is 25 cm. No digestion occurs when the food travels through the esophagus from the mouth to the stomach. Hence esophagus can be regarded as a connector which allows the passage of food. Acid reflux is caused when the stomach contents instead of flowing towards the small intestine regurgitate into the esophagus.
Understanding the term GERD
Usually, there are two sets of sphincter muscles present in an esophagus one is at the upper end and another is at the lower end. Once the food has entered the stomach the sphincter present at the junction between the stomach and the esophagus closes. But in some situations for instance due to acidity, the lower esophageal sphincter dilates allowing the reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus.
The food which has been churned in the stomach is quite acidic which scalds the delicate mucosal lining of the esophagus during a reflux. But the problem develops when such refluxes become a recurrent affair. Due to repeated reflux action, the mucosa of the esophagus becomes scarred. This is known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease which is abbreviated as GERD and one should not waste time in seeking appropriate GERD Treatment to prevent further complications.
Warning signs of GERD disease
GERD develops due to repeated bouts of acidic reflux. The symptoms of GERD are similar to acid reflux but usually, the discomforting signs of an acid reflux wane away but if one is suffering from GERD then those very symptoms become chronic and occur more frequently. The noticeable signs of GERD disease include the following:
- Heartburn is the most common symptom in a GERD patient. This will manifest itself as a burning feeling in the chest area which can also be felt in one’s throat.
- Feeling a definite sour taste without any reason happens due to the movement of stomach contents back up to one’s mouth.
- Dysphagia can be felt when one swallows food. People who have dysphasia won’t be able to swallow food easily.
- Hoarseness of voice coupled with an aching throat. Coughing can also occur without any phlegm.
- A lumpy feeling in one’s throat.
Treatment options available for people afflicted by GERD
The normal course of Acid Reflux GERD Treatment is to take prescribed antacids. But if the antacids are not providing relief even after two or three weeks then it is suitable to opt for a different treatment plan. The doctor will be able to advise a patient depending upon his/her medical history and the extent of the problem.
If antacids fail to show a positive result then medicines available for reducing or blocking acid production is generally recommended. This will ensure that less acid is produced. If acid blockers are taken as medication then it will allow the acidic scarring of the mucosa of the esophagus to heal properly. But before opting for any treatment it is mandatory to take the advice of the doctor in this regard.