GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, and an estimated 40 percent (40%) of Americans is affected by this condition. Acid is a completely normal feature within your stomach, aiding in the digestion of food. In some cases, acids and bile will flow upward, or reflux, into your esophagus. This is caused by a weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle is at the junction of your esophagus and stomach, and it functions as a valve that lets liquids and food pass through to the stomach.
Ordinarily, your LES is able to prevent gastric pressures. But if the LES is weakened, acid and bile will reflux, creating injury to the lining of your esophagus and symptoms such as regurgitation, heartburn, chest pains, coughing, and sore throats. GERD can also limit daily activities, prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, affect your food tolerances, and cause daily pain. If this condition goes untreated, complications can potentially arise, such as:
- Esophagitis: inflammation or swelling of the esophagus
- Stricture: narrowing of the esophagus
- Barrett’s Esophagus: precancerous disorders in the esophagus
Southern Reflux Center can help. With more than two (2) decades of experience, the center utilizes evidence-based reflux treatment methodologies, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and superior treatment plans focused on the root problems and not just the symptoms. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Southern Reflux Center by phone or online today.