Acid reflux disease or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a chronic condition, wherein acid contents of the stomach come back into the esophagus.
GERD occurs in both infant and adults. In the United States of America, greater than 60 million adult Americans experience from heartburn at least once a month, and almost 25 million suffer heartburn daily. The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) report indicates that around 38.53 million annual adult outpatient visits were related to Acid reflux disease.
Complications of Acid Reducer
GERD if left untreated leads to severe complications with time. Few complications include
- Lung infection and inflammation
- Esophageal ulcers
- Throat inflammation
- Collection of fluids in the middle ear and sinus
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Respiratory problems
- Contractions leading to trouble in swallowing
Symptoms of Acid Reducer
Symptoms of GERD vary with each patient. The most typical symptom of GERD is heartburn (a painful burning feeling in the chest, behind the sternum, or in the upper abdomen). Although not all people with GERD experience heartburn. Other symptoms of GERD include:
- Acid regurgitation (acid taste in the mouth)
- Dry cough
- Pain when swallowing
- Burning or Sore throat
- Hoarseness (inflammation and irritation of the larynx)
- Bad breath
- Dental erosion
- Inflammation of Gums
- Frequent burping
- Disturbed sleep
- Weight loss
- Black or red stools
Causes of Acid Reducer
Conditions that can increase the risk of GERD include:
- Hiatal hernia (Bulging of the upper part of the stomach up into the chest)
- Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke
- Eating particular foods like fatty or fried foods
- Certain Medications like asthma medicines, sedatives, antihistamines, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, painkillers increase the risk for GERD.
Diagnosis of Acid Reducer
Doctors diagnose GERD by the patient’s medical history and physical examination. To confirm a diagnosis of GERD following test is recommended:
- Endoscopy: This method requires the insertion of a tube equipped with light and camera inside the stomach and esophagus. Endoscopy detects conditions like esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus.
- Esophageal Manometry: It involves the measuring of contraction of esophageal muscles while swallowing
- Ambulatory acid (pH) probe test: This test is used to detect the amount of acid in the stomach over 24 hours.
- X-ray of the upper digestive system: X-ray is used to examine the stomach, upper intestine, and esophagus after drinking the chalky liquid, which coats the inner lining of the esophagus. Barium pill is recommended to detect narrowing of the esophagus.
Treatment of Acid Reducer
Treatment for Acid Reflux may involve one or more of the following, depending on the severity of the symptoms like changes in lifestyle and medications.
Medicines used in the treatment of Acid Reducer
- Histamine 2 Blockers- Famotidine, Cimetidine, Ranitidine.
- Proton Pump inhibitors- Rabeprazole (Aciphex), Esomeprazole (Nexium), Lansoprazole (Prevacid), Omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), Pantoprazole (Protonix), Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant).
- Prokinetic -bethanechol (Urecholine) and metoclopramide (Reglan).
- Antacids- Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Riopan.