Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a chronic digestive disease. Left untreated, GERD can cause serious problems. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Heartburn, acid reflux and acid indigestion are all terms used to describe a burning feeling in the chest or a backwash of stomach contents into the mouth or the esophagus.

If you have these symptoms more than twice a week for more than a few weeks, you may be diagnosed as having gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Left untreated, GERD can cause problems in the esophagus, including ulcers, swallowing problems, or Barrett esophagus, a condition that increases risk of esophageal cancer.

There are a number of treatments you can try at home, including medication such as antacids. Elevating the head of your bed six inches and not eating three to four hours before bedtime may also help.

Sometimes doctors recommend surgery for GERD. A procedure known as laparoscopic fundoplication, involves folding the top portion of the stomach over the opening of the esophagus to prevent backwash of contents.

A newer procedure called LINX uses a magnetic device to help the esophageal sphincter close to prevent reflux.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.