GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Overview of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD occurs when stomach acid flows back from your esophagus into your mouth. The esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. The flow back of acid reflux affects the lining of the esophagus.

GERD Meaning in Urdu

اس بیماری کا سامنا اس وقت کرنا پڑتا ہے جب معدے میں ضرورت سے زائد بننے والا ایسڈ خوراک کی نالی میں وآپس آ جاتا ہے۔ یہ بیماری زیادہ لمبے عرصے کے لیے متاثر کرتی ہے جب کہ یہ بہت کم وقت میں شدت اختیار کر لیتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے سینے میں جلن کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے، جب کہ پیٹ یا سینے کے درد، اور کھانا نگلنے میں مشکلات بھی پیش آتی ہیں۔ اس کے ساتھ ساتھ یہ بیماری متلی، سانس کی بو، گلے میں گلٹی، اور قے کا بھی سبب بن سکتی ہے۔

Frequent experience of acid reflux is GERD and it can be moderate to severe. Some healthy lifestyle changes can help to reduce acid reflux. Over-the-counter medications also ease the symptoms of GERD.

Multiple causing factors can contribute to this condition. For example, a hiatal hernia can also lead to acid reflux.

Signs and Symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Given below are some common signs and symptoms that indicate GERD:

  • Burning sensation in the chest after having a meal
  • Lump sensation in the throat
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic cough
  • Bad breath
  • A hoarse voice

At night, the symptoms can appear worse, such as triggering asthma, disrupted sleep, laryngitis, etc.

Types of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Frequent acid reflux is the leading cause of GERD. The lower esophageal sphincter LES is a circular band of muscle at the ending point of the esophagus that relaxes and opens when you swallow something. After swallowing, it closes again and works properly. But when the LES does not tighten properly, it causes digestive juices and other stomach content to flow back from the stomach into the esophagus.

Other Causes of GERD

Lying down after having a meal is also a reason that can create less pressure than the LES require for tightening close.

Having Large Meals can also cause GERD. It happens when large meals cause the distension of the stomach's upper part which leads to providing less pressure on the LES to close it properly.

Hiatal Hernia involves a part of stomach movement towards the chest area that makes the diaphragm compromised. It affects the function of LES.

Causes of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)


Risk Factors of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

The following conditions can increase the risk of GERD, such:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Connective tissue disorder
  • Frequently eating large meals
  • Eating certain food types, such as tomato products or fried foods
  • Smoking
  • Lying down immediately after having a meal
  • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs

Complications of GERD

GERD or chronic inflammation in the esophagus lining can lead to other health complications:

Esophageal Stricture: It happens when the esophagus tightens or narrows

Esophageal Cancer: GERD affects a few people only with Barrett’s esophagus

Esophagitis: Leads to this condition which is esophagus inflammation

Tooth Enamel Erosion: It may lead to dental issues.

You can reduce the risk of health complications once you start choosing healthy lifestyle choices and seek medical help.





Doctors conduct a physical exam and also ask about the signs and symptoms you experience. You may be ordered to visit a gastroenterologist or your doctor may perform further tests:

Upper endoscopy: In endoscopy, a tiny camera on a flexible tube is used that is threaded into the esophagus. It helps to get the tissue sample along with the examination.

Esophageal: It involves a drink, barium solution which a person takes before X-rays imaging. This test helps to examine the digestive tract.

Esophageal manometry: It involves the passage of a flexible tube through the nose into your esophagus which helps to measure the esophageal muscles' strength.

Esophageal pH monitoring: It involves a monitor inserted into the esophagus. Doctors use this monitor to learn how acid regulates the body over a few days.

Ambulatory 14-hour pH probe: It is done by inserting a small tube through the nose into the esophagus. It measures the acid exposure to the esophagus by a pH sensor at the tube tip. It may take 24 hours for an individual to wear this tube.

Treatment of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) | When to Consult a Doctor

The purpose of the GERD treatment includes the reduction of reflux amount that will cause less esophagus lining damage from stomach content.

Some OTC and prescription medications can help to reduce the symptoms of GERD:

Antacids to Neutralize Stomach Acid:  For quick relief, the doctors recommend antacids. These medications do not provide effective results to heal the damaged esophagus. Excessive intake of these medicines can lead to side effects, such as kidney problems or diarrhea.

Medicine to Reduce Acid Production: These medicines do not provide quick relief but act as a long-time solution that decreases acid production from the stomach.

Medicines to Block Acid Production: These medications are also known as proton pump inhibitors. They are stronger acid blockers that allow the healing of damaged esophageal tissues.

Surgery and Other Procedures

Medications work well to control the symptoms of GERD. But in some severe cases, the following procedures can help:

LINX Device: It is a minimally invasive surgery that involves the implantation of the LINX device. This is a ring of tiny magnetic beads that is wrapped around the stomach and esophagus junction. The magnetic junction is strong enough between the beads to close the junction to refluxing acid. But it may work as a weak point to allow food to pass.

Fundoplication: It is a procedure that involves the wrapping of the top of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter which helps to tighten the muscle and prevent reflux. It is a minimally invasive surgery also known as laparoscopic.

Transoral Incision Fundoplication (TIF): It is performed by creating a partial wrap around the lower esophagus using polypropylene fasteners to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter. This procedure is done through the mouth using a device called an endoscope without any surgical incision. If the causing factor of GERD is a hiatal hernia, this procedure will not be enough.

Other medicines for GERD include herbal remedies and relaxation therapies.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices and Dietary Changes

Sometimes, simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can help to reduce the symptoms of GERD. The following steps can help to prevent stomach acid reflux:

Avoid Large Meals: Having large meals can increase the risk of GERD symptoms and also lead to discomfort. Make sure you eat food 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.

Eat Slowly: When you eat your food, chew it properly.

Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages: Some foods and drinks can relax the LES. These foods include fatty foods, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, chocolates, peppermint, etc. Some foods can also cause esophagus lining irritation, like pepper, citrus fruits, tomato, citrus fruit juices, etc.

Elevate Your Head: Body position helps to reduce GERD symptoms. Make sure that you raise your head while sleeping as they lessen the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.

Quit Smoking: Smoking weakens the LES and increases the GERD symptoms risk.

Wear Loose Clothes: Squeezing your waste also increases the risk of stomach content backflow. Wear loose clothes to reduce the risk.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture treatment can also stop reflux in one study group but more research is required.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity can trigger GERD symptoms. Maintaining weight can also help to cure GERD.

In case of any concerning signs and symptoms, you need to visit a certified gastroenterologist.