Acid reflux

  • Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus.
  • Common symptoms include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and chronic cough.
  • Factors contributing to acid reflux include lifestyle habits (such as diet, obesity, and smoking), certain medications, and anatomical abnormalities like hiatal hernia.
  • Diagnosis typically involves a combination of medical history, symptom assessment, physical examination, and sometimes diagnostic tests like endoscopy, pH monitoring and barium xrays.
  • Management strategies include lifestyle modifications (such as avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, and maintaining a healthy weight), over-the-counter medications (like antacids or H2 blockers), and prescription medications (like proton pump inhibitors).
  • In severe cases or when complications arise (such as esophageal ulcers, strictures, or Barrett’s esophagus), surgical interventions like fundoplication may be considered.
  • Untreated or poorly managed acid reflux can lead to complications such as esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal strictures, and an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
  • Regular follow-up with a healthcare provider is essential to monitor symptoms, adjust treatment as needed, and prevent complications associated with acid reflux.

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