Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition that affects about 3 million Americans each year. While you can turn to over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help ease your symptoms, you need the care of an expert gastroenterologist to solve the root cause of your condition. Anne Thai, MD, is an experienced physician who can help you manage your GI disorder as well as the uncomfortable symptoms you experience. Call the office in Burlingame, California, or use the online booking tool to set up your appointment today.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known by the acronym GERD, describes a chronic condition that affects your upper gastrointestinal tract. GERD is also sometimes referred to as heartburn.
However, unlike the periodic and acute heartburn that most people experience (called gastroesophageal reflux or GER), those who struggle with GERD have symptoms regularly.
GERD occurs when stomach acid or bile in your stomach moves in the opposite direction it's supposed to. Usually, the food you eat moves down a tube called your esophagus and into your stomach. From there, the partially digested food continues to the small intestine.
Patients who have GERD experience persistent acid reflux, or the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. This reflux irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In severe cases, changes in the esophageal wall and cancer may result.
The primary symptom of GERD is usually a burning sensation in the chest that worsens when lying down. The trigger to this pain is often related to eating, and further food consumption could worsen your symptoms.
Patients may also experience the following:
While many people have straightforward symptoms, others will experience symptoms that resemble an upper respiratory illness. For this reason, it's necessary to come into the office of Anne Thai, MD, and receive a proper diagnosis.
Several risk factors make people susceptible to experiencing GERD and its unpleasant symptoms. Smoking, obesity, pregnancy, and issues that affect the sphincter muscle that connects your esophagus to your stomach all can contribute to GERD.
There are also lifestyle factors that can cause your GERD symptoms to worsen. These factors include lying down after eating, eating spicy foods, and being under significant stress, among other things.
If you have symptoms of GERD, don’t wait to be seen by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist who can help you. Schedule your appointment with Anne Thai, MD, in Burlingame, California, online or over the phone today.