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Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This is a very common condition with a variety of symptoms that can make a hugely detrimental impact on people's quality of life and productivity.

The three most likely symptoms are

* heartburn after eating
* regurgitation of acidic material with small amounts of undigested food
* pain with swallowing (called odynophagia) or feeling like food is sticking in the esophagus (called dysphagia)

Other symptoms may include chest pain, hypersalivation, and nausea. 

It is important to seek prompt medical care when you experience pain or difficulty with swallowing, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, choking or bleeding (including vomiting blood or dark coloured stools) as any of these symptoms can indicate a more serious problem.

GERD is diagnosed based upon symptoms and their response to treatments. For mild symptoms, antacids and non-prescription acid reducing medications can be helpful. Losing weight can reduce symptoms. For some people, avoiding foods that can cause the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint and high fat foods can help as does timing meals and snacks so that you do not eat for at least 3 hours before lying down.  When these interventions do not resolve the symptoms and discomfort, your physician may prescribe other drugs such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and further assessments.

For more comprehensive information about GERD, click here and here


Disclaimer - This site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. If you have a digestive problem, seek professional care.
©Centre for Digestive Motility