Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Denver, CO
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What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, often referred to as GERD, is a term we use to describe the result of the common occurrence of acid reflux in an individual. Acid reflux is defined by a singular occurrence or instance of acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus, known as heartburn.
An individual is usually diagnosed as having GERD when acid reflux occurs in mild cases one or fewer times a week or when moderate-to-severe acid reflux is experienced at a minimum twice a week. Gastroesophageal reflux disease may develop at any age, but it commonly develops around the age of 40. When it is left untreated, people can later progress to a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. If you could be be suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease, we urge you to see a gastroenterologist at a Colorado Gastroenterology in Denver, CO as soon as possible.
What causes GERD?
Whenever one chooses to consume food, it progresses through the esophagus and beyond the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to then enter the stomach. Any time the LES becomes compromised, it can lose strength and fail to stop stomach acid from moving back into the esophagus. Usually, there is not a single cause that increases the chance of this occurring often, but there is greater risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease should you experience any of these criteria:
- Eat spicy foods
- Alcohol consumption
- Lie down often after eating
- Consume raw onion or garlic
- Drink coffee
- Tobacco use
- Being overweight
- Hiatal hernia (when the upper portion of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm)
- Consume large meals late at night
- Being pregnant
- Scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder)
Learn more about the causes of GERD and how you can manage the condition by scheduling an appointment at Colorado Gastroenterology with our GI doctors today.
What are common symptoms and treatments for GERD?
The major symptoms of GERD are quite like acid reflux but may be felt with greater frequency. These symptoms can include:
- Disrupted sleep
- Chronic cough
- Unintentional weight loss
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
- Chest pain
- Lump-in-the-throat sensation
Managing gastroesophageal reflux disease may consist of lifestyle modifications, medical intervention, or both. Treatment options to help avoid or reduce GERD in Denver, CO patients include:
- Limit caffeine/coffee intake
- Prescription-strength antacids (H-2 receptor blockers)
- Stay awake and stand up after eating
- Tell your GI doctor about any medications you take
- Avoid eating at least two hours before going to bed
- Do not eat foods and beverages likely to cause acid reflux (see the list above)
- Over-the-counter antacids
- Eat slowly and in moderation
- Sleep on an incline
- LINX device (magnetic beads wrapped around the area where the stomach and esophagus meet)
- Avoid smoking
- Fundoplication (surgical procedure performed to wrap the stomach around the LES)
- Lose weight
- Medication to strengthen the LES
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a GI doctor at Colorado Gastroenterology today if you have any of the listed symptoms frequently or are in pain, or if you use over-the-counter heartburn medication more than twice a week.
Find relief from GERD
GERD is a common concern touching the daily lives of many individuals. With appropriate medical treatment, however, the condition can be treated and its uncomfortable symptoms alleviated. If you or someone you know lives with GERD, the physician-led network of gastroenterologists at Colorado Gastroenterology is ready to help. We urge you to reserve a consultation at our practice to receive treatment for GERD in Denver, CO.
The nurse was SO funny and friendly, all of the people working in the office were sweet and helpful, and the doctor was so informative. I felt listened to and felt like I really understood the full extent of the processes I was going to go through.
Amazing Group and Dr. Brenner!
Very knowledgeable doctor. He also took his time listening to my concerns and was patience. I'm very satisfied with my visit. Thank you
Very thorough and informative. Helps me understand and teaches me why something is happening in my body.
Very pleasant visit. The steps to diagnose my condition were explained to me and I felt quite comfortable with this doctor.