Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects around 20% of all Americans. If you’re having heartburn twice or more each week or you have symptoms like food sticking or unintended weight loss, it might be GERD. At Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida, the gastroenterologists, Nehme Gabriel, MD, and Raj Borade, MD, expertly diagnose and treat GERD using evidence-based protocols. Get GERD help by calling the office in The Villages, Leesburg, or Brownwood Paddock Square in Wildwood, Florida, or use the online scheduler to book an appointment now.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a disease that happens when you have frequent acid reflux. In acid reflux, your stomach acid frequently washes up into the tube that food moves down to reach your stomach (your esophagus).
The acid backwash happens because of a malfunction in your lower esophageal sphincter, the band of muscle that normally works as a kind of valve to keep your stomach contents from flowing out.
You can have acid reflux occasionally without having GERD — many people have the occasional bout of reflux. But, if you have acid reflux episodes at least twice weekly and your symptoms are severe, you could have GERD, the more severe and chronic type of acid reflux.
GERD causes a number of difficult symptoms, including:
In severe cases, GERD can cause symptoms like severe chest pain during physical activity, unintended weight loss, vomiting blood, and red or black stools.
Untreated GERD could cause complications such as esophageal narrowing (strictures), esophagus inflammation, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer. If you have these symptoms, it's important to get assessed by the experts at Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida as soon as possible.
At Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida, you receive a comprehensive exam to determine what treatment for GERD is best. Typically, your doctor can diagnose you with a symptom evaluation alone, but if your GERD symptoms don’t improve with treatment, you may need an upper endoscopy, possibly including a biopsy, to check for other problems.
GERD treatment usually includes both nutrition changes and medication.
Medications can include antacids, H2RAs, and proton-pump inhibitors. These drugs work by neutralizing, reducing, or blocking stomach acid. Another type of medication can strengthen your lower esophageal sphincter to help it function more effectively.
Your doctor may recommend some specific changes, like omitting the foods that give you heartburn, reducing portion sizes, and keeping a daily food diary.
In the rare cases that GERD doesn’t respond to conservative care, your doctor may recommend fundoplication, a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which they secure the top part of your stomach around your lower esophageal sphincter to prevent acid reflux.
GERD can be frustrating, inconvenient, and potentially fatal. Don’t ignore your symptoms when the experts at Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida are ready to help. Book an appointment online or call the office nearest you now.