Science And Life: What Is GERD And How It Can Impact Your Daily Life?

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GERD is one of the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal diseases, with nearly 20 per cent of the adult population experiencing symptoms regularly. Know more

Written By Asmita Shukla | Mumbai | Updated On:
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also abbreviated as GERD, is frequent or chronic reflux. Patients usually experience the symptoms at least two times a week, if not more. In the United States, GERD is one of the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal diseases, with nearly 20 per cent of the adult population experiencing symptoms regularly. When this disease is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as changes to the oesophagal structure or Barrett’s oesophagus. Acid reflux has a variety of causes that can lead to GERD. These include, (but are not limited to) diet, genetics, age and previous injuries.

GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition that affects the lower oesophagal sphincter. It is the muscle between the oesophagus and stomach. According to studies, it is when stomach acid keeps flowing back into the tube which connects your mouth to your stomach. This frequent flow of acid corrodes the lining of the oesophagus which can cause irritation. According to research, people who are habitual drinkers, smokers or tobacco chewers suffer from GERD since all of these come under substances that trigger the condition. One of the most common and prominent symptoms of this condition is heartburn. 

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How GERD can impact your daily life?

  • According to scientists, the pain and discomfort from acid reflux impact up to 60 per cent of the U.S. population every year. Following are some of the ways in which GERD can impact a patient’s life:
  • Persistent Typical and Atypical Symptoms: It may result in heartburn, chest pain, sore throat and other symptoms despite the medication.
  • Sleeping Positions: Another common symptom occurs due to nighttime reflux that can compromise sleep for people who sleep in a typical horizontal position. This can affect alertness and productivity the other day.
  • Diet: Dietary restrictions including regimented timing of meals. Patients need to avoid consuming foods and beverages that trigger reflux.

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Treatment for GERD:

Treatment for GERD varies from person to person depending on the severity of the symptoms. Some mild sufferers may experience relief by implementing simple lifestyle changes. While other patients can control symptoms through medication therapy. However, the commonly used medications like Proton Pump Inhibitors that are prescribed to control GERD symptoms have their own side effects and limitations. It may not be the best long-term solution for GERD.

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Disclaimer: The content provided above is for information purpose. This is no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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