Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects 20% of Americans today. At Vikram S. Jayanty M.D., the gastrointestinal practice of Vikram Jayanty, M.D., P.A., you can get the help you need. He provides diagnosis, management of GERD/acid reflux, and treatment of complications like Barrett’s esophagus. Book your appointment now through the online scheduler or call the Houston, Texas, office to schedule a consultation.
GERD occurs when your stomach contents move up into the esophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach). This commonly causes heartburn — a burning feeling in your upper chest — and regurgitation, the uncomfortable sensation of food or liquid moving upwards from your stomach.
In addition to heartburn and regurgitation, you could also experience GERD symptoms like:
GERD symptoms are often more intense after eating a large meal or lying down. Many people experience symptoms in the evenings and overnight, disrupting their sleep.
Acid reflux — the backwash of stomach acid and bile — is the cause of GERD. If something weakens the lower esophageal sphincter — the valve at the bottom of your esophagus — it can lead to acid reflux.
Certain foods, like spicy and fried foods, can increase your acid reflux and GERD risk. Excessive abdominal pressure from extra weight or pregnancy, taking some medications, and hiatal hernias can lead to acid reflux and GERD.
Over time, GERD can cause severe problems like ulcers and scar tissue narrowing (stricture) in the esophagus. Another complication of GERD is Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which the esophageal lining changes, becoming similar to that of the small intestine.
Barrett’s esophagus carries an increased risk of precancerous tissue changes, increasing the risk of esophageal cancer.
A physical exam and symptom review are the primary initial diagnostic criteria for GERD. But if your symptoms don’t improve with initial treatment, you might need a gastroscopy, in which Dr. Jayanty examines your upper digestive tract using a miniature camera.
Dr. Jayanty performs gastroscopy in the practice’s on-site endoscopy suite. This procedure can verify or rule out other conditions that might be causing your problems.
You can help control GERD symptoms by limiting or avoiding trigger foods and beverages like:
Changing your eating times might help as well. Many people find it’s best to avoid eating for several hours before bed. Avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy weight can also help you avoid GERD symptoms.
If your symptoms continue after making these lifestyle changes, Dr. Jayanty might recommend antacids to neutralize stomach acid or histamine H2 receptor antagonists to reduce acid production.
Another option that works particularly well with frequent GERD symptoms is proton pump inhibitor medications that block the last step of stomach acid production.
If your symptoms persist, you could need fundoplication, a surgical procedure. In this surgery, Dr. Jayanty reinforces the esophagus-stomach barrier using only a small incision.
Call Vikram S. Jayanty M.D. now or click the provided link for GERD help.