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What Is Heartburn GERD

Author : Tarra Sampson

Heartburn is a frequent condition that most people experience occasionally. However heartburn/GERD or gastroesophagel reflux disease is the condition where you experience heartburn chronically with more severe symptoms. Heartburn is caused when stomach acid goes up into the esophagus. This up flow of acid can cause discomfort such as burning, pain and irritation.

Heartburn/GERD occurs when the usual remedies such as antacids and cutting back on problem foods fail to solve the problem. Many times people with heartburn/GERD have to utilize one of the prescription medicines that is available for treatment.

Causes Of GERD

There are many things that could lead to heartburn/GERD. One of the main causes is diet. A diet high in fatty foods, dairy products, spicy foods, tomatoes products, and caffeine and citrus is a leading cause of frequent heartburn and GERD. Into days food the general eating habits contribute as well. Many people consume fast foods on the go and drink large amounts of caffeine and carbonated drinks. Our population suffers from easy access to a lot of great tasting foods. Over eating as well contributes to heartburn/GERD. It is important as well not to lie down right after eating.

Risk Factors For GERD

There are many who are more susceptible to heartburn/GERD. These include pregnant women, people with ulcers and stomachs who create an excess of acid. Others at risk for heartburn/GERD are those with obesity and or diabetes. Various types of medications such as certain types of pain medicines are at risk for heartburn/GERD as well.

Symptoms Of GERD

Symptoms are recurrent heartburn, pain or discomfort with acid when lying down, frequently waking up with heartburn at night, coughing or choking feeling, difficulty swallowing, sour taste or stomach acid coming up in the mouth and throwing up blood. These symptoms require that you see your health care specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

How Is GERD Diagnosed

If your doctor suspects that you may be suffering from heartburn/GERD they may recommend several different types of tests. A barium x-ray is a somewhat uncomfortable procedure that could help determine if there is heartburn/GERD as well as a test called the endoscopy where a lighted tube is inserted down the throat to examine the esophagus and stomach.

Treatments For GERD

The most common forms of treatment for heartburn is a change of diet, and life style as well as the addition of more powerful prescription antacids. In extreme cases surgery may be an option to widen the esophagus and fix some of the ulcers or hernia's if they occur.

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Tags:   heartburn, GERD

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Submitted : 2010-11-15    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 404