Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. Ramen Sinha was a strict believer of the latter dictum. The 50 year-old marketing executive loved his food, and his loving wife loved to indulge him with hot, spicy and fried recipes. Nearly 30 years in sales also meant a lot of travelling, hence eating, tremendous job stress and hardly any exercise. And adding to it all was his smoking habit. Obesity was the expected byproduct of a lifestyle he did not see anything wrong with, till he started experiencing frequent bouts of severe indigestion and acid reflux. Food became an enemy and regardless of what he ate, he began experiencing severe discomfort. On his brother’s advice he visited the doctor and was explained that he was suffering from GERD. The good news was that some simple lifestyle modifications would help him keep this problem under control.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD is a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic juices from the stomach, food and fluids flows back into the tube connecting our mouth and stomach. It can affect people of all ages. GERD occurs when the sphincter at the bottom of the oesophagus becomes weak, and opens when it should not. People suffering from Asthma are at higher risk of developing GERD. Asthma makes lower oesophageal sphincter loose, allowing stomach contents to flow back, into the oesophagus. Acid reflux can also irritate the airways and lungs worsening asthma. It can thus turn asthma into a serious condition. GERD can generally be managed with lifestyle modifications and basic medications. But some people may require stronger medications or surgery to ease the symptoms.
GERD occurs more commonly in people who are:
Common signs and symptoms of GERD include:
GERD if not treated can lead to complications like:
To diagnose GERD several tests may be prescribed, including:
If you have both GERD and asthma, managing the former will help you control your asthma symptoms.
Lifestyle changes to manage GERD include:
Your Doctor may also recommend medications to treat reflux or relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter antacids and H2 blockers may help decrease the effects of stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors may be effective in blocking acid production.
In severe and medication intolerant cases, surgery may be recommended. Surgical treatments for the prevention of GERD may include:
Thus, if you are suffering from frequent acidic taste in the mouth during burping or find difficulty in breathing due to this, contact your nearest doctor and get immediate treatment.
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