Acid Reflux – Is That Gerd Or What?

by Richard H Ealom

INTRODUCTION: Acid reflux is a condition where gastric juices containing acid travel back from the stomach into the esophagus (gullet or swallowing tube). More commonly found among adults, yet, children as well as infants, can be likewise affected.

It is most frequently recognized by its symptom of “heartburn” which is said to affect 1 out of every 10 adults in the USA and is a very serious and common ailment in the world today. In severe instances, this can be very troublesome. It is treatable and you should ask your MD what treatments are available and right for you.

GERD: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), or commonly called acid reflux, is a chronic condition wherein the esophagus becomes inflamed and irritated due to the stomach’s acidic contents that flows back towards the esophagus passing from the lower esophageal sphincter. It is a severe version of reflux that often produces pain, vomiting and poor weight gain.

HEARTBURN: The name of the condition given to a burning discomfort in the chest, just behind the breastbone. It is a sign of another digestive disorder, and not a disorder by itself. Following heartburn, other reported symptoms are regurgitation, bitterness within the mouth, hoarseness, wheezing, dry cough, and throat tightness as if some chunk of food is entrapped. An occasional heartburn does not necessarily mean one has GERD.

SYMPTOMS: Signs of acid reflux include: Heartburn (a burning feeling rising from the stomach or lower chest up towards the neck) and can be greatly relieved or prevented by lifestyle and dietary changes as well as the use of herbs known to promote healthy digestion.

TREATMENT: Treatment is the next step, but remember that proper treatment can really only be implemented once a definite diagnosis has been made. Moreover, after the esophagus has healed and treatment is stopped, the injury will return in most patients within a few months. You may need to experiment with doses and medications to find the right treatment for your heartburn and GERD.

Drug treatment is usually only needed for a short time although it may have to be repeated since some signs may re-occur. NEXIUM is prescribed for the treatment of frequent, continuous heartburn symptoms. But if these symptoms occur 2 or more days a week despite treatment and change in diet, you may have (GERD) also called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

CONCLUSION: Acid reflux is produce by food and stomach acid coming back up from your stomach and entering your esophagus and is usually characterized by a burning sensation in the stomach and chest region. It is a medical ailment, with heartburn as a possible symptom of that ailment. You should also realize that if it remains untreated for too long, you could be facing a lifetime of dealing with it. The bottom line is that finding the correct treatment is mostly about knowing your body and your symptoms.

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