GERD Symptoms - When to Seek Medical Help
Since you're reading this, you must be concerned about the dangers of incessant heartburn.
Here’s the best piece of advice anyone can give you:
If you think I’m being over dramatic, check out the dangers of untreated GERD - You don’t want to procrastinate or take any chances when it comes to your health or the health of a loved one.
To clarify your thinking, you need to know the difference between GERD and heartburn, as well as all the GERD Symptoms.
What are the GERD symptoms?
Here are the symptoms to look for:
If you cut through all the medical information you can find on the web, one single fact emerges:
Acid is escaping from your stomach and attacking your esophagus.
And there is only one thing that can cause GERD Symptoms, and that's a defective lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
As described in the above video, the food pipe or esophagus is a muscular tube extending from the throat to the stomach. There is a ring of muscle surrounding the pipe where it joins the stomach. This is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
Mother Nature designed the LES to keep digestive acids from backing up into the esophagus and injuring it. In a healthy person the acids are kept at bay by the sphincter opening and closing, allowing food to pass through without acid escaping upwards.
In a GERD patient, the LES is defective, and this deficiency is often augmented by a hiatus hernia.
Other Causes and Treatment
A number of factors may cause GERD. Apart from lifestyle changes and adopting a sensible diet, there are a variety of medications and procedures that can ease GERD symptoms before lifestyle changes kick in.
For example, your digestive system may be producing too much acid. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend the temporary use of acid suppressants such as histamine-2 (H2) blockers or proton pump inhibitors (PPI's).
Once a balance has been restored, you should stop using PPI's - they can produce some nasty side effects.
There are a number of natural remedies that will allow you to taper off and finally quit this dangerous medication altogether.
If you have GERD, the problem with the LES could be augmented by one of three conditions:
In extreme cases, a surgical procedure such as the Nissen fundoplication may be called for.
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