What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

You may not know it, but you may already be familiar with GERD. It is more commonly known as gastric reflux. Odds are, you come across an advertisement for treating this condition under the name of acid reflux. Gastric reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into your esophagus. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a condition that results in this happening frequently.

This backflow of acid can irritate the esophagus’ lining. When it occurs often, patients encounter significant discomfort and other symptoms. As a top gastroenterologist in Los Angeles, Dr. Tabib has helped countless patients treat this condition. Call today to take the first step toward a life free of GERD.

GERD Overview

Keep in mind that GERD and acid reflux are the same condition.
GERD is mainly due to a weak lower esophageal sphincter. This sphincter is a muscle that separates the stomach and esophagus. With a weak sphincter, stomach acid will be pushed back into the throat. The result: discomfort and other symptoms.

Symptoms of GERD

Persistent heartburn is the hallmark of GERD. Don’t let the name mislead you. It isn’t your heart that is burning, though the discomfort is in your lower chest. Instead, it is the esophageal tract that connects your mouth and stomach.

Another common symptom is regurgitating stomach acid. You will recognize this as convulsion followed by an acidic, burning taste in your mouth.

Other symptoms, though less common include:

  • Chest Pain
  • Morning Hoarseness
  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Dry Cough
  • Bad Breath
  • Stuck food sensation in throat

Symptoms in Children

GERD affects not only adults. Though less common, it can also occur in children. In children, GERD can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Respiratory problems

The disease is often overlooked in kids, with infants usually growing out of it by age one. However, it should be checked out by a doctor if the symptoms are persistent.

Causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

The leading cause of GERD often is tied to the age of the patient. With children, an immature digestive system is usually the main culprit. In adults, a hiatal hernia is the most common cause.

This type of hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach is above the diaphragm. A hiatal hernia occurs typically in adults over age 50.

However, several other factors can contribute to developing GERD. Some of these are tied to diet, while others relate to unhealthy habits. For many patients, simply avoiding these foods or habits can be enough. For others, a more comprehensive treatment may be needed.

Some of these triggers for adult-onset GERD include:

  • Alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Citrus
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Fatty / Fried Foods
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mint Flavorings
  • Spicy Foods
  • Tomatoes

GERD Treatment in Los Angeles

Different patients will respond best to different treatment plans. The first step is identifying what the trigger factors are. Once these are known, we can begin working on developing your personalized treatment plan. There are two main approaches to treating GERD: medicinal and lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle Change

Dr. Tabib recommends one or more of the following changes to achieve relief. These include:

  • Avoiding flare-up causing foods
  • Staying upright for at least three hours after meals
  • Lifting head of your bed by six to eight inches
  • Eating smaller meals.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Lose weight if necessary

Medicinal Assistant

Medications are often very helpful in treating GERD. Dr. Tabib may recommend certain over-the-counter medications. He may also prescribe drugs to treat your symptoms. Helpful prescription medications include:

  • Antacids – Alka-Seltzer, Mylanta, Maalox, Rolaids, Pepto-Bismol, Riopan, Tums, Titralac
  • Foaming Agents – Gaviscon
  • H2 Blockers – Tagamet HB, Pepcid AC, Axid AR, Zantac 75
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors – Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Aciphex, Nexium
  • Prokinetics – Urecholine, Reglan, Metoclopramide

Antacids and foaming agents neutralize stomach acid. H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors work in limiting acid production. Finally, prokinetics help strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter. This helps make the stomach empty faster.

Each of these medications has its own unique benefit. Some may benefit one patient, while others will work for another. It is all about tailoring your treatment to your individual condition. Some patients may benefit from a single medicine. Others might require a unique combination.

Surgical Options

In some cases, surgery becomes an option to avoid lifetime medication use. Many patients simply do not want to rely on taking pills every day for the rest of their lives. We understand. That is why we offer surgical options to deliver longer-lasting results.

The most common type of surgery for GERD treatment is Nissen fundoplication. This procedure wraps the upper stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter. If a hiatal hernia is present, it can be repaired. Endoscopic surgery can also help provide long-lasting relief.

Contact Us Today

Today, gastroenterology conditions can be treated effectively. You do not need to live with discomfort daily. Take the first step toward a life of comfort and peace by scheduling a consultation today.

We provide everyone a treatment plan to meet your unique needs and improve your quality of life. Dr. Tabib understands that each patient is unique and centers his treatment around this idea. Contact our center to schedule a consultation with Los Angeles’ preferred Gastroenterologist.

Get your

Siamak Tabib, M.D., Inc.
8631 W 3rd St Suite 1015E,
Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 683-4911

    Voted Best Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles


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