for GERD Patients
you will find the information presented here useful if you suffer from heartburn,
been diagnosed to have reflux esophagitis, GERD related problems or Barrett’s
esophagus. You can find out about signs and symptoms, and treatments available
by clicking either the menu items above, or the links below.
Reflux Disease (GERD)
The burden of GERD results from its widespread
prevalence and the unfavorable impact of its symptoms on quality of life.
Where as an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter is important in the pathophysiology
of GERD, medical treatment is based on controlling gastric acid, which is
responsible for the majority of symptoms and mucosal damage.
Up to 70% of patients suffering from heartburn
have nonerosive reflux disease (NERD).
NERD patients may
have symptom severity and quality of life impairment comparable with erosive
esophagitis (EE). Indeed, atypical or extra-esophageal complications are
more common in NERD.
Disease occurs when the lower esophgeal sphincter (a valve) between the stomach
and esophagus weakens. Most probably, affected people are born with this
condition. This will lead to leakage of stomach contents (acid, bile, and
semi-digested food) into the esophagus, causing heartburn, chest pain and
esophagitis. The acid may reach the throat, leading to reflux laryngitis
and hoarseness, chronic mostly one-sided sore throat and chronic
dry cough. The refluxed acid may enter the windpipe specially when
sleeping at night and lead to asthma, recurrent pneumonitis,
or chronic lung disease and fibrosis as a result of inflammation of the lungs
from aspiration. Burning tongue and dental caries may
also be caused by the acid-reflux. In children, the acid may cause otitis
media, earache and chronic sore throat.