GERD Is The Word: Why You Need A Doctor To Diagnose And Treat GERD
While many common illnesses can be self-treated by rest and over-the-counter drugs, you will want to get help for any stomach or digestive tract related diseases. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a quite common thing that people experience. Symptoms include two or more heartburn episodes in a week for starters, but other symptoms are very uncomfortable and should be checked by a registered physician.
While acid reflux episodes are more common and occur from time to time in the lives of almost everyone. This is when stomach contents move backward into the esophagus and create a burning sensation in the chest and unpleasant tastes in your mouth and throat. Acid reflux often occurs when we eat too much or lie down on a full stomach. Although it is uncomfortable, antacid tablets can normally solve this by neutralizing the acid temporarily. It is good to monitor the instances of acid reflux, as this can evolve into the more serious case of GERD.
How Does GERD Start?
GERD is a chronic condition that starts when the esophageal sphincter becomes loose or weak, which allows gastric acid to push upwards into the lower esophagus. The stomach has a strong lining to protect itself from the harsh acids within, but the esophagus does not, which is why having GERD is extremely painful and uncomfortable. If left untreated for too long, tissue damage in the esophagus can evolve into cancerous cells, so be sure to get GERD treated as soon as possible.
The fortunate part about GERD is that it is easy to diagnose by oneself. If you experience symptoms of discomfort due to multiple refluxes in a week, plus an inability to keep food down due to vomiting and bad breath, this often means you have it. It often resembles chest pains caused by a heart attack, and a general rule by any medical practitioner is to be careful with pains close to the heart. Some instances have people self-medicating GERD, but do not actually have it. This wastes money because some acid reflux episodes are just refluxes from alkaline elements from food particles and not necessarily acids shooting up.
The Downsides To Self-Diagnosis
Sometimes, symptoms that may be confused for GERD can be symptoms of a coming heart attack. The chest pains caused by pre-heart attacks and GERD are similar in nature, which often leads people to confuse the less severe form over the more severe one. As mentioned above, chest pains are no joke, and regardless of whether they are a heart attack or GERD, both require immediate attention. Another issue physicians have is when people who self-diagnose misdiagnose themselves and often have other diseases. Heartburn is also a common symptom of gallstones, stomach ulcers, and even esophageal cancer, so be sure to always get professional advice and checkups to ensure the best results.
While GERD can be treated by medications and treatments to reduce acid production, doctors may recommend weight loss or a diet modification to prevent the worsening of conditions. Weight can have an effect on a person’s heartburn symptoms, and eating foods til stuffed full or extremely spicy foods can have negative reactions on the stomach’s acid contents. Additionally, eating times play a big role, wherein snacking in the evening or before bed can cause acid reflux in some people. Stick to a normal eating routine for best results and eat proper foods, avoiding junk and sugary drinks. Taking vitamins can also assist in overall body health, so consult your doctor for what vitamins to take to keep your system clean and healthy.
GERD is definitely a serious chronic illness, and you will need to constantly be on top of the issue to prevent it from turning into something serious. Remember that if you have any uncertainties over the way you feel or if the discomfort gets too much, the best advice we can give is to see your doctor right away.
Reflux Away is your best resource for acid reflux treatment articles that provide the best information, as well as tips and tricks to curb common reflux issues. Use our site’s articles to know more about how you can deal with your acid pains and gain new knowledge on how to help relatives or friends who have it.
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