Everything You Need to Know About Gastroesophageal Reflux
If… heartburns and regurgitations are becoming part of your everyday life, then you are more likely to suffer from Gastroesophageal reflux. One of the most common diseases of our times, which, with proper treatment and help from an experienced gastroenterologist, can be effectively treated.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which the stomach contents (food and gastric acid) leak backward into the esophagus, resulting in mucous membrane irritation and induction of a number of disturbing and unpleasant symptoms, such as cough, hoarseness, burning low in the chest, difficulty in swallowing, dyspepsia and vomiting, but also chronic sinusitis, asthma and various respiratory infections.
There are a lot of factors that can lead to gastroesophageal reflux, with hyperacidity being the most common cause, i.e. excessive production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
The intense stress which characterises the modern lifestyle, as well as poor nutrition, contributes catalytically to the onset of the disease and exacerbates its symptoms.
Some foods such as fried and oily ones, spices, chocolate, soft drinks, coffee, alcohol, acidic juices such as orange juice, as well as certain substances such as nicotine, weaken the lower esophageal sphincter overtime thus facilitating the reflux of gastric acid.
Also, other causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux disease are pregnancy and obesity due to increased intra-abdominal pressure, various conditions such as scleroderma, pyloric stenosis and certain respiratory or systemic (e.g. collagenosis) diseases.
Often, the use of drugs, such as anticholinergics, β-blockers, bronchodilators, antidepressants and others, may cause or trigger the disease.
If it is neglected and not treated in time, gastroesophageal reflux can cause a number of complications, some of which are quite dangerous for our health.
The chronic flow of gastric acid to esophagus can lead to esophagitis, esophageal strictures, chronic bleeding in the area, diaphragmatic hernia and laryngitis, or even to esophageal cancer.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic condition, but its symptoms are reversible when appropriate treatment is administered by a gastroenterologist.
As with plenty of other diseases, early diagnosis is an important factor for the course of the disease, its control and its cure.
It is treated by a combination of lifestyle changes such as weight loss, avoidance of stress, smoking and food that aggravates reflux, as well as through the prescription of special medicines that neutralize stomach acids.
Certainly in cases where, despite the change in lifestyle, habits and medication, the symptoms do not go away, surgical treatment is indicated.
In this context, the patient’s monitoring by a special gastroenterologist plays a key role. The Gastroenterological Department of YODA Day Care Unit, has physicians with great expertise and experience in controlling and treating the most complicated cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The Gastroenterological Department of YODA Day Care Unit, is fully-equipped to receive the patient and provide him, with no discomfort, both the diagnosis and the treatment required to deal with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
10 Tips to Deal with Gastroesophageal Reflux
- Follow a specific diet, avoiding foods that you know they cause you heartburn.
- Avoid bedtime or exercise after eating.
- Go to bed 3 hours after you have finished your meal.
- Try to eat many and small meals.
- Monitor your weight.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Do not wear clothes or belts that tighten your waist.
- Avoid as long as you can severe stress or anxiety.
- Adopt a body position when you sleep, allowing the head to be 10-12 cm taller than the legs.