Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition that may lead to more serious health complications when left untreated. Tahmina Haq, MD, customizes care for GERD at Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute in Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Huntington Beach, California. The skilled gastroenterologist also performs transoral incisionless fundoplication, a minimally invasive surgery for GERD. Call or schedule a consultation online at the office nearest you today.
Acid reflux causes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but you can have acid reflux without having GERD. Acid reflux describes when the acidic contents of your stomach flow up into the esophagus, causing heartburn, indigestion, and chest pain.
Normally, after food passes into the stomach, the passageway is tightly closed by the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). However, if the LES is weak or relaxes when it shouldn’t, the contents of the stomach may reflux up.
It’s not uncommon to have acid reflux every once in a while. However, if you have heartburn or indigestion two or more times a week, then you have GERD.
GERD is chronic acid reflux.
You should worry about GERD because the irritation from the stomach acid may damage the delicate lining of your esophagus. Without treatment, GERD may cause problems such as:
GERD may also increase your risk of esophageal cancer. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that changes the cellular lining of the esophagus and is a risk factor for esophageal cancer.
The gastroenterologist at Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute conducts a thorough evaluation when you come in with concerns about GERD. This evaluation may include an upper endoscopy to evaluate the lining of your esophagus and look for abnormalities.
Treatment for GERD focuses on reducing acid reflux. Your provider at Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute customizes your plan based on the severity of your symptoms and the effect it has on your esophagus.
Initially, treatment may center on lifestyle changes such as eating smaller meals, not eating too close to bedtime, and avoiding foods that worsen your reflux (acidic foods, spicy foods). The gastroenterologist may also prescribe medications to reduce acid production in the stomach.
Most people experience improvements in their symptoms with these interventions.
The gastroenterologist at Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute may recommend surgery for your GERD if medical interventions fail to alleviate your symptoms or you can’t tolerate the medications.
The gastroenterologist performs a transoral incisionless fundoplication to treat GERD. During this minimally invasive procedure, your provider folds the top portion of your stomach around the LES, tightening the barrier and stopping the acid from refluxing up.
For expert GERD care from a highly skilled gastroenterologist, call Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute or book an appointment online today.