Gastroenterologists located in Austin, TX and surrounding areas
GERD is common reflux condition that affects up to 20% of adults. The gastroenterologists at Capitol Gastro are experts in GERD. They promptly diagnose your condition and recommend medications and lifestyle changes to manage GERD — so you feel like yourself again. The practice offers convenient locations in Austin, Cedar Park, Georgetown, and Dripping Springs, Texas. Call today.
GERD Q & A
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is commonly known as GERD. It happens when your stomach acid — what’s known as acid reflux — goes back into the hollow tube (esophagus) connecting your stomach and mouth, irritating the lining of your esophagus.
Reflux occurs when a ring-shaped muscle, which prevents the contents of your stomach from flowing back into the esophagus, fails to work as it should. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, which feels like a burning pain behind your breastbone.
Acid reflux happens to nearly everyone from time to time, but GERD occurs more often. GERD is typically mild acid reflux that happens at least twice a week, or moderate to severe acid reflux occurring at least once a week.
What are the symptoms of GERD?
With GERD, your symptoms typically include:
- Regurgitation (your stomach contents reach your mouth)
- Problems swallowing
- Chest pain
- Feeling as if you have a lump in your throat
If you’re experiencing these symptoms often, or your symptoms are severe, or you’re taking over-the-counter heartburn medications more than twice a week, you should contact Capitol Gastro for an evaluation and treatment of your condition.
How is GERD diagnosed?
Your evaluation begins with a full medical history and a physical exam. Your doctor often recommends tests to evaluate your symptoms and ensure they’re caused by acid reflux.
Your doctor may recommend:
- High-resolution esophageal manometry: a small, flexible tube passes through your nose into your esophagus and stomach to measure pressure and function of your esophagus
- Endoscopy: a thin viewing tube goes down your throat to examine your esophagus and stomach
An endoscopy can help detect inflammation in your esophagus (esophagitis) or other complications, and to take a small tissue sample, if need be. A tissue sample can help determine whether your symptoms are due to a related condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
How is GERD treated?
Your treatment plan usually includes lifestyle changes, such a modification of your eating and sleeping habits. You’ll need to curtail unhealthy habits, such as smoking or alcohol use, and avoid foods that irritate the damaged lining of your esophagus.
Your doctor often recommends over-the-counter or prescription medications to ease your symptoms and neutralize acid.
If you’d like to be evaluated for GERD, call Capitol Gastro today.