GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s a condition that’s very common and is due to the reflux of acid into the esophagus from the stomach.
Common symptoms of GERD include heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest area. But it can also cause a number of other symptoms, including coughing and trouble swallowing.
Treatment for GERD includes diet modification, including avoiding acid-forming foods, such as spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolates, coffee and alcohol. Lifestyle modifications include losing weight, avoiding eating two to three hours before bedtime. Medications, such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, can reduce acid.
Reasons to see your gastroenterologist would be heartburn symptoms that persist, despite treatment with over-the-counter acid blockers, for more than one to two weeks. More severe symptoms include difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting or unintentional weight loss.
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