About 20% of Americans suffer from GERD, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Trusted Source. It can occasionally result in serious complications if left untreated.

When food from your stomach moves back up into your esophagus, acid reflux occurs. Gastroesophageal reflux and acid regurgitation are other names for this action.

You may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) if you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice per week.

About 20% of Americans suffer from GERD, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Trusted Source. It can occasionally result in serious complications if left untreated.

GERD symptoms

Credit – Medicover Hospital

Acid reflux is the most common symptom of GERD. The burning sensation in your chest caused by acid reflux can spread to your neck and throat. Heartburn is a common name for this sensation.

In the event that you have heartburn, yoFsu could foster a sharp or severe taste at the rear of your mouth. Regurgitation of food or liquid from your stomach into your mouth is another possibility.

A few different side effects of GERD include:

nausea, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, a persistent cough, hoarse voice, and bad breath

Treatment options for GERD

Your doctor may advise you to make certain lifestyle adjustments in order to manage and alleviate GERD symptoms, such as:

if applicable, maintaining a moderate weight; if you smoke, quitting; avoiding large, heavy meals in the evening; lying down a few hours after eating; elevating your head while you sleep (by raising the head of your bed 6-8 inches).


Some of the following over-the-counter (OTC) medications may also be recommended by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about which of these medications is best for you because they all have the potential to cause side effects.


Antacids like Tums are typically used to treat mild acid reflux and GERD symptoms on occasion. However, you may require a stronger medication if you find that you take antacids almost every day.

H2 receptor blockers

Pepcid AC and other H2 blockers work by lowering stomach acid production. There are numerous over-the-counter H2 blockers available, and higher doses of these medications can also be prescribed.

One type of H2 blocker, ranitidine (also known as Zantac), has recently been recalled by the FDATrusted Source due to its inclusion of the known carcinogen N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

Additionally, PPIs like Prilosec reduce stomach acid production. When it comes to healing the esophageal lining, which can become damaged when someone has GERD for a long time, they tend to work better than H2 blockers because they tend to work better.

PPIs, like H2 blockers, can be purchased over-the-counter, and your doctor may also prescribe a higher dose.

The drawback of natural remedies for GERD

Home remedies may be preferred by some individuals to begin treating heartburn. If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD, you most likely have a chronic condition, even though some home remedies may help with occasional acid reflux episodes in a small way.

Changes in one’s lifestyle can sometimes help with chronic health issues, but medical treatment is usually required as well. It is best to resist the urge to self-diagnose and self-treat chronic conditions. Before beginning any new treatments, talk to your doctor.

Some of the available home remedies may cause more harm than good, such as:

  • Drinking a solution of water and baking soda – Because it is alkaline, baking soda can neutralize acidity and is generally safe to consume in small amounts. However, baking soda has a lot of sodium, and using too much of it can cause side effects.
  • Chewing Gum – The idea behind this is that chewing gum after eating may help neutralize the acid in your mouth and throat because saliva is slightly alkaline. Although a relatively insignificant 2005 study found this strategy to have some merit, the study’s small size makes it difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions.
  • Eating ginger – Although ginger is a common home remedy for stomachaches and nausea, it is still unknown whether it can actually alleviate occasional heartburn symptoms. In fact, heartburn is a symptom of taking too much ginger, according to numerous studies, trusted source.
  • Milk consumption – Milk is another home remedy that is frequently promoted as a means of alleviating heartburn symptoms due to its natural alkalinity. Sadly, after the milk has been digested, even though it may initially feel soothing, the fat and protein it contains may ultimately exacerbate heartburn symptoms. It’s possible that some people can handle low-fat milk better.

Diagnosing GERD

If your doctor thinks you might have GERD, they’ll check your body and ask you about any symptoms you’re having.

After that, your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist or may carry out some tests themselves, such as:

  • pH probe with a 24-hour battery life Through the nose, a small tube is inserted into the esophagus. The amount of acid that the esophagus is exposed to is measured by a pH sensor at the tube’s tip and sent to a portable computer. This tube is worn by a person for about 24 hours. When it comes to diagnosing GERD, this approach is generally regarded as the “gold standard.”
  • Esophogram X-ray imaging is used to examine your upper digestive tract after you drink a barium solution.
  • An upper endoscopy To examine your esophagus and, if necessary, collect a tissue sample (biopsy), a flexible tube with a tiny camera is inserted there.
  • Manometry of the esophagus. In order to measure the strength of your esophageal muscles, a flexible tube is inserted into your esophagus through your nose.
  • pH monitoring of the esophagus In order to observe how your body regulates acid over a few days, a monitor is inserted into your esophagus.

Your doctor will decide what treatments will work best for you and whether surgery is an option after getting a diagnosis.

Surgery for GERD

Credit –

Changing one’s lifestyle and taking medication are usually enough to stop and treat GERD. However, surgery is sometimes required.

If, for instance, lifestyle changes and medication have not stopped your symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery. If you’ve had issues with GERD, they might also recommend surgery.

Fundoplication, in which the top of your stomach is sewn around your esophagus, and bariatric surgery, which is typically recommended when a doctor has concluded that your GERD may be exacerbated by excess weight, are two of the many surgical options available to treat GERD.

GERD vs. Heartburn

It is essential to keep in mind that GERD and occasional heartburn, which may not necessitate medical intervention, are distinct conditions.

The majority of people occasionally experience heartburn, which is generally not a cause for concern.

But you might have GERD if you’ve been having heartburn more than twice a week, especially if you’ve also been having a persistent cough and chest pain.

GERD causes

Although there is no single factor that causes GERD, there is a mechanism in your body that, when it is not working properly, can make it more likely.

At the end of your esophagus is a circular band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When it is functioning properly, it opens and relaxes when you swallow. After that, it tightens and then closes again.

When your LES does not properly close or tighten, acid reflux occurs. This makes it possible for stomach juices and other contents to rise into your esophagus.

Additional possibilities include:

  • Hiatal hernia – This occurs when a portion of the stomach moves toward the chest area above the diaphragm. Your LES may have a harder time performing its function if your diaphragm is compromised.
  • Frequently eating a lot of food – The upper part of the stomach may become distended as a result of this. Sometimes, this distension causes the LES to not close properly because there isn’t enough pressure on it.
  • Resting too early after enormous feasts – Additionally, this may result in less pressure on the LES than is necessary for its proper operation.

Risk factors for GERD

Although there is no single cause of GERD, certain lifestyle choices and health factors can increase the likelihood of a diagnosis. These are some:

  • Eating a lot of certain foods like deep-fried or tomato products,*
  • Drinking certain beverages, like soda, coffee, or alcohol*
  • Taking a lot of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like aspirin or ibuprofen*
  • Smoking frequently*
  • Being pregnant*
  • Having a connective tissue disorder*
  • Consistently eating large meals*
  • Lying down or going to sleep shortly after eating

Connection Between Alcohol and GERD:

Liquor utilization and GERD have been associated in many examinations, and it seems like the more liquor you drink, the higher the probability you could foster GERD.

Although the connection is not entirely clear—does alcohol directly affect the LES or do excessive drinkers also exhibit other behaviors that can lead to GERD?— It is evident that following a diagnosis, limiting alcohol consumption or completely quitting it may alleviate symptoms.

Dietary triggers for GERD

Certain foods and beverages have been shown to aggravate the symptoms of GERD in some people who have been diagnosed with the condition. Even though triggers can be very individual, certain foods are frequently cited as being more triggering than others. They consist of:

foods high in fat (such as fried and fast food), citrus fruits, juices, tomatoes, and tomato sauces, onions, mint, coffee, and soda.

GERD and other problems

Credit –

GERD symptoms can sometimes be made worse by other conditions you may have.

Anxiety and GERD:

Anxiety and heartburn may be linked, according to 2015Trusted Source research. The other might get worse as well if one gets worse. Because the condition can cause unwanted symptoms, it’s also possible that people with heartburn or GERD are more anxious.

If you think that your symptoms are getting worse because of anxiety, you should talk to your doctor about ways to get rid of it.

Pregnancy and GERD:

Acid reflux can become more common during pregnancy. Your symptoms may get worse if you had GERD before getting pregnant.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes may cause your esophagus muscles to relax more frequently. Your stomach can also be put under pressure by a growing fetus. The likelihood of stomach acid entering your esophagus may rise as a result.

Pregnancy is not an unsafe time to take many acid reflux medications. But your doctor might tell you to stay away from certain medications or antacids in some cases.

Asthama and GERD:

GERD and asthma frequently coexistTrusted Source.

It is possible that GERD might exacerbate asthma symptoms, although more research is required to determine the exact relationship between the two conditions. Additionally, asthma and some medications for asthma may raise your risk of GERD.

It is essential to manage both asthma and GERD at the same time.


Your large intestine can be impacted by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some typical signs include:

IBS sufferers are more likely than the general population to experience GERD-related symptoms, according to a 2018 review published by Trusted Source.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have both IBS and GERD symptoms. They could prescribe changes to your eating regimen, prescriptions, or different medicines.

GERD in Infants

Credit –

Babies occasionally spit up food and vomit, which is normal. However, your child may have GERD if they frequently vomit or spit up food.

The following are additional possible signs and symptoms of GERD in infants:

refusal to eat, difficulty swallowing, gagging or choking, wet burps or hiccups, irritability during or after feeding, arching of their back during or after feeding, weight loss or poor growth, recurring cough or pneumonia, and difficulty sleeping are all signs that your baby may have GERD or another health condition.

If you are concerned about these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with their doctor.

Potential Complications of GERD

GERD does not typically result in significant complications. However, in rare instances, it may result in serious or even fatal health issues.

GERD may cause the following problems:

  • esophagitis, which is an inflammation of the esophagus
  • esophageal stricture, which occurs when your esophagus narrows or tightens
  • Barrett’s esophagus, which causes permanent changes to the lining of your esophagus
  • esophageal cancer, which only affects a small percentage of people with Barrett’s esophagus
  • tooth enamel erosion, gum disease, or other dental problems

By Nitin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *