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Posted by -Dr-khanna

A To Z Disease Directory / 30 May 2019

GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE

ABSTRACT -

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or Acid Reflux is a chronic digestive disorder where there is a defect in LES (Lower esophageal sphincter) which results in stomach acid flowing back into the esophageal tube causing an irritation in the esophageal tube lining.

CAUSES -

It is caused by recurring acid reflux due to which there is an inflammation in the esophagus. Gradually, the inflammation can tear off the lining of esophagus and cause complications like:

  • Esophageal strictures
  • Bleeding
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Esophageal adenocarcinoma

The other factors causing GERD are:

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS -

The symptoms may vary from adult to child. In adults:

  • Heart burn after eating which worsens in night
  • Chest pain
  • Regurgitation
  • Acidic taste in mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing due to sore throat
  • Ptyalism
  • Nausea and coughing
  • Laryngitis in case of night time acid reflux

In children:

  • Repeated vomiting and burping
  • Regurgitation and coughing
  • Wheezing and bad breath
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Crying for food and then pulling off the bottle or breast only to cry for it again
  • Failure to gain adequate weight

DIAGNOSIS -

  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
  • Esophageal pH monitoring
  • Endoscopy for checking presence of Dysplasia or Barrett’s syndrome

TREATMENT -

  1. Medications:
    • Proton-pump inhibitors
    • Antacids
  2. Lifestyle changes
  3. Surgery
  4. Esophagogastric dissociation:Surgery used to treat neurologically impaired children suffering from GERD.

RISK FACTORS -

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Scleroderma

Factors that aggravate this condition are:

  • Smoking
  • Medications like Aspirin
  • Excessive eating or eating late at night
  • Eating fatty food or drinking beverages like alcohol or coffee

EPIDEMIOLOGY -

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is prevalent in 8% to 19% of Indian population.
  • There is no gender predominance related to GERD.

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