Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common chronic digestive condition that affects about 20% of people in the United States. If not treated, GERD can lead to other health problems. Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists in North Wantagh, and South Wantagh, New York, can help you get the care you need to manage your GERD, ease your symptoms, and reduce your risk of other health problems. Call or schedule your GERD consultation online today.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is chronic acid reflux, when the acidic contents of your stomach move up into your esophagus, causing heartburn and indigestion.
After you swallow food, it travels down the esophagus toward your stomach. Once it reaches your stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens, allowing food to pass through. Then the LES closes again.
If you have GERD, then your LES isn’t fully closing after food passes through, and stomach acid flows up through the opening.
Most people with GERD experience heartburn, which is a painful burning sensation that starts in the middle of the chest and moves upward toward your throat. You may also taste food or stomach acid in the back of your mouth.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
It’s normal to have heartburn from time to time. However, if you have heartburn or any of these other GERD symptoms two or more times a week, then it’s time to see the experts at Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists.
When left untreated, GERD damages the esophagus and causes other health problems. Some of the complications of GERD include:
Esophagitis means inflammation of the esophagus. Repeated exposure to the acid from your stomach causes this type of inflammation, making it painful to swallow.
About 10% of people with GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus, which is when the tissue that normally lines the esophagus changes into tissue similar to the lining of your intestine.
Esophageal strictures cause a narrowing of the esophagus, making it hard for food to pass through.
Though rare, GERD puts you at risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Your gastroenterologist at Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists works closely with you in designing a personalized treatment plan for your GERD after a comprehensive history and physical, which might include an upper endoscopy.
Treatments that can help your GERD include:
If medical interventions fail or you can’t take medication, Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists may talk to you about laparoscopic antireflux surgery. This minimally invasive procedure reinforces the LES, stopping the acid reflux.
Don’t ignore your heartburn. Call Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists or schedule a GERD consultation online today.