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GERD - A Pain in the Throat

Persistent pain that occurs two or more days a week and has lasted for at least three months may be due to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or known as GERD, an acid reflux disease or a chronic heart disease, which only affects many today. GERD occurs when the lower esophagus sphincter (LES) fails to fully close. Openings produced on the lower esophagus sphincter allow acid from the stomach to stretch or flow back to the throat, a tube that extends from the throat to the stomach. This stomach acid regurgitation can cause frequent and persistent heartburn, usually lasting two hours or more.

While many sufferers of chronic GERD episodes suffer from nocturnal nausea, there are others who report more occurrences during the day, especially after eating large amounts of food or foods high in acid or fat. Some gastroenterologists have found that sleeping with a raised bed head approximately six inches may help prevent nighttime acid reflux.

Other symptoms associated with GERD include burning of the back of the throat, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing, hoarseness, throat irritation, bitter or acidic taste in the mouth or inflammation of the throat and esophagus.

It is important to remember that chest pain associated with GERD disease or acid reflux acid can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. For example, both acid reflux and heart attack can cause chest pain that can be as sharp or dull and can radiate to the back, arms and neck. Ignore this foolish and dangerous symptom. The cause of chest pain must be determined by your doctor or healthcare provider. Just assuming that chest pain is a result of heartburn without the approval of a professional is impossible.

Smoking, caffeine, hormones, chocolate, peppermint, tights, certain drugs, obesity, pregnancy, as well as certain body positions have been identified as triggers of GERD. Most of these triggers can be avoided or controlled to make it easier to overcome acid reflux disease with lifestyle modifications.

GERD is often accompanied by hiatal hernia. Defined as an enlargement of the abdomen through the esophageal hiodor, the opening of the diaphragm, leading to the chest, the hiatal hernia can certainly contribute to the onset and severity of GERD. The hiatal hernia is focused on allowing the lower esophagus to relax and thus keeping the esophagus from completely emptying. Hepatitis can also contribute to esophagitis, erosion of the esophagus from excess stomach acid and gastric enzymes, due to the increased exposure of tissues sensitive to stomach acid.

Lifestyle modifications, diets and over-the-counter medications are generally the first treatment offered by healthcare providers once the diagnosis of GERD has been confirmed. However, if acid reflux cannot be controlled by prescription strengths this method can be ordered. Surgical intervention is often seen as the last resort to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease.

GERD is a disease that can cause long-term damage if left untreated. There are non-invasive options available to treat and hopefully eliminate acid reflux before it has the opportunity to cause long-term harm.


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