Got GERD? Symptoms, Causes & When You Really Need to See a Doctor in Dubai

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition where the contents of your stomach flow back into your oesophagus, inflaming and damaging its lining. It is also referred to as acid reflux. 

What are the symptoms of GERD?

Persistent heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD. Although not common, difficulty swallowing, a chronic dry cough, wheezing, hoarseness, bad breath, the feeling of food sticking in your throat and tightness in the throat are also signs of GERD.

How do I know if I have GERD?

GERD can only be diagnosed by a doctor based on your symptoms or a series of tests. Heartburn can be caused by eating spicy or acidic foods, but you should see a doctor if:

• You have experience it two or more times a week.

• Your heartburn has gotten worse over the past couple of years

• Heartburn keeps you awake at night 

• It interferes with your daily activities

• You have difficulty swallowing food

What are the causes of GERD?

We cannot pinpoint one particular cause of GERD. Normally, the lower oesophageal sphincter [LES] relaxes and opens as you swallow food and then it closes and tightens up afterwards. Reflux occurs when the LES does not tighten or close properly, allowing your stomach’s contents and digestive juices to rise into your food pipe. That being said, poor lifestyle choices can put you at more risk of getting this disease. 

Can GERD be treated? 

Yes, it can. However, it is a long-term treatment and physicians concentrate more on controlling the symptoms, healing the oesophagus, and preventing further damage. Available treatment options include lifestyle changes, medication and surgery. 

If diagnosed with GERD, you will be required to identify and avoid anything that causes the symptoms or makes them worse. This might involve changing your diet and quitting smoking and drinking. You can also be prescribed over-the-counter medication to help relieve heartburn temporarily. H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can also be administered in severe cases to help reduce the secretion of acid in the stomach. For some patients, surgery can be done to strengthen the LES. 

Click here to book an appointment or to find out more about GERD treatment in Dubai.

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