Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects the lives of millions of people around the world and cause both discomfort and financial issues. Before you can treat the disease, it is important to understand what it really is, the factors associated with it and its symptoms. Understanding it will ensure its early diagnosis.

LES Dysfunction

GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) starts to dysfunction. In normal conditions, the LES opens to let the food enter the stomach and closes to prevent food and acid flowing back into it. When your LES does not function like it should, food and acidic content go back into the esophagus. As such, the severity of GERD also depends on the amount of food and acid coming back into the esophagus.

Different Factors

Certain foods and lifestyles can worsen gastro esophageal reflux disease. Chocolate, fries and fatty foods and beverages such as alcohol and coffee will trigger it. Obesity and smoking also relax your LES and cause it to perform incorrectly. Proper functioning of the LES is important to keep GERD at bay. Other health issues might also aggravate the GERD patient condition.

Symptoms

It is vital to know about the symptoms of the diseases, which are neglected by considering it as a small issue. Knowing the symptoms enhances your chances of being diagnosed and treated at the right time. Unfortunately, many people do not treat GERD as anything but regular chest pain that goes away in a few days.

If you experience chest pain that “moves up to the throat,” then it is a symptom of Gastro esophageal reflux disease. This is why many patients feel that food is coming back into their mouth, which is why they also have a bitter taste in their mouth.

Avoid eating anything when you are feeling this pain, because it will make matter worse. Refrain from lying down or bending over as it will not make the situation better. The best way to get over the pain is to stand straight.

Many people also consider heartburn or GERD as a heart attack, which is not true. Unlike heart diseases, there is no connection between heartburn and physical activity. GERD is directly related to the stomach and esophagus. GERD is quite common among adults above 30 years of age, but that does not mean that children are safe from it.

Long-term GERD

GERD patients can easily control the disease by taking the right medication and following the right treatment plan. If the symptoms of GERD persist, other health complications might occur. If significant amounts of stomach acid flow back into the esophagus, it will give rise to Esophagitis. This is a disease that will lead to ulcers and esophageal bleeding. This acid might also cause many scars on the esophagus, which would narrow its diagnosis down. Long-term GERD can sometimes result in esophageal cancer.

That is why doctors emphasize on its early diagnosis and proper treatment of minor diseases. Otherwise, a seemingly minor disease might prove to be fatal. Stop these diseases from getting to a point where it can threat your life and existence by getting it diagnosed. Getting rid of these diseases is not that difficult, but leaving it will become much stronger with the passage of time. It will not be easy to get rid of it at that stage.

Keep an eye on GERD symptoms and triggers. A simple heartburn can become GERD in no time at all and could cause other diseases as well. Left untreated, it can lead to fatal diseases like cancer. If heartburn occurs frequently, you must consult a medical doctor.