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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Symptoms & Causes

What Is GERD?

GERD is a common digestive condition that affects many people, and can have long-term health implications if not treated properly. It occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which connects the stomach to the esophagus, becomes weak or relaxed and allows stomach acid to travel back up into the esophagus. This can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, such as heartburn, regurgitation, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Some people may even experience esophageal cancer due to prolonged GERD.

Risk Factors

There are certain factors which can increase the risk of developing GERD. These include:

Other symptoms of GERD include swallowing difficulty, nausea, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, hoarseness, wheezing, teeth erosion, ear infections and severe pain which can sometimes be mistaken as a heart attack.

Suffering from GERD?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with this condition, it is important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. They can provide advice on treatment options and lifestyle changes which could help reduce and manage the condition. Taking steps to reduce the risk factors is also recommended, such as quitting smoking or reducing alcohol intake. Furthermore, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, avoiding trigger foods and keeping a healthy weight may all help with managing GERD.

Helpful lifestyle changes like these, alongside appropriate medical treatment, can help ensure that esophageal cancer does not develop due to long-term untreated reflux. If you think that you may be at risk of developing esophageal cancer because of chronic GERD, it is important to speak to your doctor right away. They can help you find the best treatment plan from medication to surgery, and lifestyle changes that are tailored to suit you and your individual needs.

If left untreated, reflux can also lead to esophageal cancer. Therefore, it is important to speak to a doctor if you experience symptoms such as heartburn or acid reflux on a regular basis in order to reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer. Taking proactive steps like reducing risk factors for acid reflux and adopting helpful lifestyle changes could be beneficial for managing your condition and protecting your health.

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Here at KYM Surgery, we believe in providing holistic & comprehensive medical care for all patients.