Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease: Causes, Diagnosis and Remedies

Otherwise known as GORD, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a common condition where the stomach leaks acid which ends up in the oesophagus (gullet). Your oesophagus is the tube that runs from your mouth to your stomach. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be painful, inconvenient, and distressing. Here is more information about this condition, and what you can do to treat it.

Causes of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease

GORD may be caused by a number of different factors, often all linking together. For example, when the lower oesophageal sphincter fails it results in acid leaking back out of the stomach through the faulty valve. Other factors that may cause or influence GORD include being overweight, pregnancy, and eating a high-fat diet.

Symptoms of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease

Symptoms of GORD include heartburn, a burning discomfort in your chest that happens after you eat, acid reflux, and pain and difficulty swallowing. You may also experience a cough, a sore throat, or hoarseness of breath.

Diagnosing Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease

In many cases gastro-oesophageal reflux will resolve itself in time without any diagnosis or treatment. However, the condition can be a mask for something more serious, and it is important to seek a doctor’s opinion especially if you are having difficulties swallowing.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be tested through the use of an endoscope, which is inserted into the throat with a tiny camera attached to the end. Any damage to the oesophagus can be discerned. A doctor can also diagnose the condition based on a description of symptoms. In addition, the condition can be measured by ambulatory pH testing, which is a procedure where the amount of acid in the oesophagus is measured over a period of 24 to 48 hours. As well as recording the amount of acid, patients can at the same time make a note of their lifestyle habits and food consumption to help draw links as to the cause of the condition.

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment

The first step to rectifying GORD is to alter your diet so that any problem foods – like high-fat foods – are limited or removed. If changing the diet doesn’t result in any improvement, you can try medication like antacids or proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs). If these steps do not remedy GORD, surgery may take place. For anti reflux surgery London has a lot of options, and the surgery is usually straightforward and can result in significant improvements. For more information about the anti reflux surgery London offers, click here. Surgery is usually highly successful if it is carried out in the correct cases. After surgery, patients do not need to take medication and they usually enjoy a respite from their symptoms on a long-term basis. Surgery is not risk-free but it is normally safe for patients in good health. Possible side effects of the surgery include stomach bloating, flatulence, inability to vomit, difficulty swallowing solid food on a temporary basis, and swelling following the surgical procedure.

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