GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (with acronym GERD) results from an impaired valve mechanism between the swallowing tube (oesophagus) and the stomach. While elucidating on this issue, Dr. Purnendu Bhowmik, a renowned GERD treatment doctor in Kolkata said that this chronic disease causes the stomach contents (both acidic and digestive secretions) to flow back into the swallowing tube. This reflux of acids, digestive enzymes, and food causes damage to the oesophageal lining and results in heartburn.

Symptoms

According to the best GERD specialist doctor in Kolkata, the following symptoms are usually experienced by people with GERD:

  • Acid regurgitation: Acid or partially digested food from the stomach move up into the oesophagus.
  • Excessive burping or belching
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Bitter or sour taste in the mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sore throat, cough, or hoarseness
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn: A burning sensation in the middle of the chest behind your breastbone

Risk Factors For GERD

  • Pregnancy
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Obesity
  • Family history of GERD
  • Food choices
  • Smoking

Diagnosis

  • Barium X-ray: A barium drink coats the lining of the upper digestive tract so it can be seen on an X-ray.
  • Endoscopy: This is a safe test that requires passing a slim, flexible endoscope (equipped with a light and tiny camera) into the oesophagus.
  • Oesophageal motility study: This test involves placing a catheter, containing a sensor, in the oesophagus to measure the movement and pressure within your oesophagus and stomach.
  • 24-hour pH-monitoring: A small tube, having a pH sensor, is placed in the oesophagus. The sensor measures the level of acidity in the oesophagus over a time span of 24 hours, with the data being stored on a small computer worn around the waist for later analysis.

 Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment in Kolkata

  • Lifestyle/dietary changes
  • Limit intake or avoid having chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, coffee, and alcohol
  • Elevate the head of your bed or raise the upper body with a foam wedge
  • Have small, frequent meals, instead of one large meal
  • Avoid eating or drinking for three to four hours prior to going to bed
  • Maintain a healthy bodyweight
  • Limit smoking
  • Medication
    • H2-receptor antagonists lessen the production of stomach acids
    • Proton pump inhibitors reduce the formation of stomach acids. It reduces heartburn symptoms, healing the damage caused to the oesophagus.
  • Prokinetic agents are useful for emptying the stomach more rapidly.
  • Surgery

Indications for surgery are

  • Noncompliance of the Patient
  • Severe oesophagitis found by endoscopy
  • Failure of optimal medical management
  • High volume reflux
  • Benign stricture resulting from erosions or ulcers
  • The age and/or choice of the patient considering the adverse events of medical therapy
  • Barrett’s columnar-lined epithelium

Nissen fundoplication GERD surgery is performed laparoscopically in Kolkata, and it helps tighten the LES and prevents the reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus.

 

Complications of GERD

Since GERD is a chronic disease, its needs to be treated on a long-term basis, even if the symptoms have subsided. GERD can sometimes cause severe damage to the oesophagus. A

narrowing of the oesophagus may develop from chronic scarring and an oesophageal ulcer while bleeding may occur from repeated exposure to gastric acid.

Alarm symptoms

Alarm symptoms are not typical of GERD and can signal additional, more serious health concerns. Talk to a surgeon for GERD if you notice a change in your current symptoms or experience any of the following:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Bloody stools (tarry black or red)
  • Anaemia

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