Gastroesophageal Reflux: What it is, Main Causes and Treatments

Burning in the esophagus that goes up to the throat, constant heartburn and a great discomfort when eating certain foods. These are some of the main characteristics of gastroesophageal reflux , a problem that affects millions of people worldwide. But why does it occur? How to deal with this problem? Is there a cure? These and other questions will be answered in today’s text. So, if you were curious to know everything about the subject, check it out now!

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux?

The first thing we must address is what is gastroesophageal reflux and why it arises. Also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or simply reflux, this condition is chronic, that is, it persists for a long period of time and tends to be more evident at times.

This disease basically consists of the return of gastric juice to the esophagus . The big problem is that the esophageal mucosa is not prepared to receive such acidic liquids, which causes it to become irritated, causing several symptoms and other complications. In more severe cases, this problem can end up reaching the larynx, mouth and even the lungs.

The causes of gastroesophageal reflux are usually linked to the fragility of the stomach structure, which allows gastric juice to go into the esophagus. Another known cause is hiatus hernia , which causes the transition between the esophagus and the stomach to shift.

Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux is a disease that has several very evident symptoms. They are:

  • Constant heartburn
  • Bad breath
  • Dry cough
  • Severe chest pain, which is often confused with myocardial infarction pain
  • Burning in the mouth of the stomach that can go up to the throat

If a person experiences one or a combination of some of these symptoms, it is important that they see a doctor as soon as possible so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and treatment carried out in the best possible way.

How is the Diagnosis done?

The diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux is made from the patient’s report to the doctor of the symptoms. From that, a digestive endoscopy and a PHmetry are prescribed , which together can indicate whether it really is a gastroesophageal reflux disease or not.

Risk factors

The groups at risk of gastroesophageal reflux are directly related to habits or conditions that facilitate the appearance of fragilities in the stomach , which in turn, causes the disease. Some of the main risk factors are:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Ingestion of certain medications
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive intake of acidic foods

It is important to remember that, even if a person is not within this group, the disease can still manifest itself, as these are just some factors that contribute to it arising. So it is important that everyone is prevented and takes the necessary precautions to avoid problems like this.

Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux

First of all, it is important to stress that there is no cure for gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, there are some treatments that have been shown to be quite effective in controlling symptoms and that allow a person who has the disease to lead a totally normal life.

The most conventional form of treatment is done through the use of medications that decrease stomach acidity . Its effect is even greater when the patient follows recommendations such as exercise, avoid lying down right after eating and adopt a specific and less acidic diet.

There is also surgical treatment , which is indicated when reflux is very constant, causing complications such as esophagitis, for example. Surgery is also indicated when treatment with drugs does not have the expected effects.

 

How to prevent gastroesophageal reflux

Some of the actions that a person can take to avoid developing the disease are:

    • Avoid smoking
    • Do not overdo the use of alcohol
    • Do not overdo acidic foods
    • Do not consume beverages such as coffee, tea or soda in excess
    • Maintain a balanced diet
    • Regular physical exercise
    • Eat light meals and eat without haste
    • Do not lie down right after eating, especially the heavier meals like pasta with sauce

Taking these attitudes and adopting these healthier habits of life not only help to prevent gastroesophageal reflux, but also bring several other benefits for your life and your health.

Possible Complications

If a gastroesophageal reflux disease is not treated correctly, it is possible that some complications may arise, such as:

      • Esophagitis, a disease characterized by inflammation in the esophagus
      • Erosive esophagitis, characterized by the appearance of ulcers in the esophagus
      • Narrowing of the esophagus
      • Malignant tumors

As you can see, gastroesophageal reflux is a disease that affects many people, but that can be prevented or even controlled with the adoption of healthy habits in your life. Because it is a chronic disease, many may believe that a treatment is useless, but it is exactly with the help of a doctor that you can control the disease and maintain a healthy life and, mainly, that you can have the pleasure of eating. and drink without worrying about pain. Always with responsibility and conscience, of course.

Website | + posts

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother. Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Leave a Reply

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

Related Posts