Do you often have a burning sensation in your chest, especially after eating a meal? Do you notice that this burning sensation is worse at night? Or do you experience coughing attacks a couple of times a week before going to sleep at night? If so, you may be dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD. We would like to tell you about how you can identify GERD and when would be a good time for you to see a doctor.
Symptoms and Causes of GERD
The first thing that you should know is what the disease actually is. It involves stomach acid that flows back into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects your stomach and mouth. When this stomach acid flows backward into the tube, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms because of the way it irritates the esophagus.
One of the most common symptoms that a person will experience with GERD is a burning sensation in their chest. This is often described as heartburn. It often occurs after a person eats and may become worse at night. Other symptoms may include having the feeling that there is a lump in your throat, regurgitating sour liquid in the mouth or food, difficulty swallowing, or experiencing chest pain. There are some people who only experience GERD at night. They may have some of the above-mentioned symptoms along with laryngitis, asthma, and a cough. All of these things disrupt their sleep.
When an individual has a healthy body and is not experiencing GERD, a circular band of muscles around the bottom of the esophagus will relax when they swallow. This allows liquid and food to pass to the stomach. After the food passes, the muscles tighten. The problem comes when the muscles weaken or relax abnormally. This is what allows stomach acid and food to go back up into the esophagus, causing it to become inflamed.
Get Help with Your GERD
Some individuals are able to treat this problem on their own. For example, some individuals have seen a reduction in symptoms after losing weight. It may help to stop smoking, avoid eating large meals later on at night, or avoid foods that trigger the problem, like fried foods. Others find that avoiding alcohol or coffee helps. In some cases, medication may be helpful.
In addition to reducing uncomfortable symptoms, a person can put themselves at risk for further problems by not treating their GERD. Stomach acid can eventually cause sores to form in the esophagus. Some individuals have experienced cancer in the esophagus because of not addressing the problem.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
It is good for a person to treat their GERD as soon as possible. It can prevent future complications. If you are interested in learning more about the treatments that we have available, you are warmly invited to register for a free seminar with Naples Vitality. At our convenient location in Naples, FL, our friendly and compassionate staff will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!