Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gastroesophageal / Acid Reflux Disease At A Glance

Gastroesophageal / Acid Reflux Disease At A Glance

* Gastroesophageal / Acid Reflux Disease is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus.

* The causes of GERD include an abnormal lower esophageal sphincter, hiatal hernia, abnormal esophageal contractions, and slow emptying of the stomach.

* Gastroesophageal / Acid Reflux Disease may damage the lining of the esophagus, thereby causing inflammation (esophagitis), although usually it does not.

* The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea.

* Complications of GERD include ulcers and strictures of the esophagus, Barrett's esophagus, cough and asthma, throat and laryngeal inflammation, inflammation and infection of the lungs, and collection of fluid in the sinuses and middle ear.

* Barrett's esophagus is a pre-cancerous condition that requires periodic endoscopic surveillance for the development of cancer.

* Gastroesophageal / Acid Reflux Disease may be diagnosed or evaluated by a trial of treatment, endoscopy, biopsy, x-ray, examination of the throat and larynx, 24 hour esophageal acid testing, esophageal motility testing, emptying studies of the stomach, and esophageal acid perfusion.

* GERD is treated with life-style changes, antacids, histamine antagonists (H2 blockers), proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), pro-motility drugs, foam barriers, surgery, and endoscopy.

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