The test involves taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for about two weeks. If the medication relieves the symptoms, then it is very likely that GERD is causing them. The food pipe doesn’t always become inflamed. In up to 2 out of 3 people with reflux symptoms, the membranes lining the food pipe are normal. If the stomach is stretched a lot – for instance after a large meal – the sphincter (circular muscle) at the entrance to the stomach might temporarily loosen.
I found a doctor in the hospital who was doing a clinical trial on people with untreated GERD. I got a free endoscopy as part of the trial, and I was lucky to find that I didnâ€™t have any damage to my esophagus despite years without treatment. I was told to follow up with my primary care doctor and get treatment.
Diet and lifestyle changes
People around me seem to think I should lighten up about it because it is not like I was diagnosed with a terminal disease. I am not sure if they understand how, as much as you want to keep an optimistic attitude, it chips away at you every day.
A minority of patients with GERD, about, has been found to have stomachs that empty abnormally slowly after a meal. When the wave of contraction is defective, refluxed acid is not pushed back into the stomach. In patients with GERD, several abnormalities of contraction have been described. For example, waves of contraction may not begin after each swallow or the waves of contraction may die out before they reach the stomach. Also, the pressure generated by the contractions may be too weak to push the acid back into the stomach.
Can Acid Reflux Disease Be Treated With Medications?
Although acid reflux is extremely common and rarely serious, don’t ignore your acid reflux symptoms. Making a few lifestyle changes and using over-the-counter antacids are often all you need to control acid reflux symptoms.
The symptoms may also get worse after physical activities or through certain positions, such as bending forward or lying down. In some people it is caused by a hiatal hernia (also known as a hiatus hernia). The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities from each other. The food pipe passes through a small hole in the diaphragm and enters the stomach just below it.
In addition, patients with GERD may find that other foods aggravate their symptoms. Examples are spicy or acid-containing foods, like citrus juices, carbonated beverages, and tomato juice.
These diseases are caused by inflammation in the intestinal tract. The bodyâ€™s immune system attacks the lining of the intestine. Besides abdominal pain, other symptoms include diarrhea, bloody stools, fatigue, fever, malnutrition and weight loss. Abdominal pain is one of the most frequent forms of pain among adults and children.
The best way to take antacids, therefore, is approximately one hour after meals, which is just before the symptoms of reflux begin after a meal. Since the food from meals slows the emptying from the stomach, an antacid taken after a meal stays in the stomach longer and is effective longer. For the same reason, a second dose of antacids approximately two hours after a meal takes advantage of the continuing post-meal slower emptying of the stomach and replenishes the acid-neutralizing capacity within the stomach. In some people, stomach contents regularly leak into their food pipe, or a relatively large amount leaks out. It is considered to be GERD if this causes frequent or severe heartburn or acid reflux that affects your quality of life, or if your food pipe has become inflamed.