When you eat your food, it travels through your esophagus into your stomach. Once it enters your stomach, your lower esophageal sphincter closes to allow digestion to begin. When your lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak and fails to function properly, it allows acidic stomach juices or food to come back to the esophagus, causing gastroesophageal reflux disease. If you are suffering from GERD in San Antonio, the Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC can help.
Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Despite everyone having experienced acid reflux when you have heartburn when you burp and have an acid taste in your mouth, these symptoms can severely affect your daily activities. When you experience these symptoms frequently, you should visit your doctor.
Other symptoms to look for include:
- Experiencing difficulty while swallowing food, drink, saliva
- Unexplained weight loss
- Experiencing sore throat and a recurrent cough
- A sense of a lump in your throat
- Experiencing pain in your upper abdomen and chest pain
- Having acid regurgitation and food sticking in your throat.
How is gastroesophageal reflux diagnosed?
When you go for a GERD diagnosis, your doctor will conduct the diagnosis based on your symptoms and other risk factors.
If you are experiencing acid regurgitation and heartburn, your doctor may diagnose you for GERD based on these symptoms.
If your symptoms indicate you might have other problems with similar GERD symptoms and no improvement after receiving treatment, your doctor may recommend you undergo some medical tests. These include:
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
Your doctor will recommend this test to examine your upper gastrointestinal lining, stomach, duodenum, and esophagus. Your doctor will also acquire biopsies from your esophagus lining. Your doctor will determine GERD’s complications or any other causes of your symptoms apart from GERD through the test.
An esophageal manometry test is done if your upper endoscopy test results are normal and you are still experiencing difficulty swallowing and having chest pain. Your doctor will recommend this test to check if your lower esophageal sphincter is working properly by measuring the pressure of your esophagus muscle contraction.
Esophageal pH monitoring
Your doctor will recommend this test to measure your acid reflux frequency. The test is carried out for twenty-four hours as you keep a record of your symptoms. Your doctor can also use the test to confirm GERD diagnosis, especially if you continue to experience symptoms.
Gastroesophageal reflux treatment
Your doctor will recommend treatment based on the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Some GERD treatments that your doctor may recommend include:
Your doctor may prescribe medications to increase your upper gastrointestinal tract’s motility level or decrease the acidity level in your stomach.
Lifestyle and dietary changes
Changing your lifestyle and diet can help treat GERD. Your doctor will recommend raising your head’s level as you sleep and avoid lying down immediately after your meals. If you are overweight, you should lose weight and avoid fatty food, caffeinated beverages, and large meals.
If you fail to respond well to medication and lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend you undergo surgery to strengthen the antireflux barrier.
Are you struggling with gastroesophageal reflux disease? Call or book an appointment online with Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC.