GERD

Most adults occasionally experience the searing pain of heartburn, a problem that’s caused by acid reflux. When your heartburn becomes a regular problem, chances are you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The experienced physicians at AMI Surgery encourage you to get an exam if you suspect you have GERD, not only to get relief from the pain but to prevent damage to your esophagus and throat. To get comprehensive treatment for GERD, call one of the offices in Stamford, Connecticut, or Port Chester, New York, or book an appointment online today.

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GERD Q & A

What causes GERD?

GERD occurs when gastric acid comes out of your stomach and refluxes up into your esophagus. This problem develops when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) weakens.

The LES is a round muscle where the esophagus meets your stomach. It normally opens to let food pass into the stomach and then closes to keep gastric acid inside the stomach. A weak or damaged LES allows the stomach contents to escape.

Once your LES stops working normally, a hiatal hernia can cause more frequent GERD. You’re also more likely to have bouts of GERD if you overeat, eat foods and beverages that boost stomach acid, or you’re overweight.

What is the difference between GERD and acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a common problem that doesn’t last long and is easily relieved with antacids. GERD is a more severe form of acid reflux. 

If your reflux returns despite taking antacids or you have acid reflux several times a week, chances are you have GERD.

What symptoms develop if I have GERD?

The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, which is a burning pain in the center of your chest. You may also experience:

  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Dental erosion
  • Regurgitation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bitter taste in your mouth
  • Feeling that something is caught in your throat

As stomach juices continue to flow into your esophagus, the strong acid can damage the lining of your esophagus, throat, and lungs. 

How is GERD treated?

Treatment for GERD usually begins with lifestyle changes and medications. For example, you may need to lose weight, avoid foods that trigger your reflux, and eat small meals.

The team at AMI Surgery may prescribe an antacid or proton-pump inhibitor that’s stronger than over-the-counter medications. 

If your GERD doesn’t improve, you may need to consider getting the LINX® Reflux Management System to strengthen your LES. 

How does LINX work to treat GERD?

LINX is a small, flexible ring of small magnets. Using laparoscopic surgery, your provider places the ring around the outside of your esophagus at the LES.

The magnets keep the LES closed until you swallow, when LINX temporarily opens to let food and liquids into the stomach.

LINX has an exceptional record of success, with 88% of patients reporting that they are still heartburn free five years after getting the device.

If you need relief from GERD, call AMI Surgery or schedule an appointment online today.

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