ACID REFLUX

  • Occurs when stomach contents moves backward into the esophagus.
  • A.k.a. acid regurgitation or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
  • A common digestive condition. Affecting more than 60 million Americans at least once a month. More than 15 million Americans experience it every day.
  • Causes a burning sensation in the chest that radiates up from the stomach to the mid-chest or throat (heartburn).
    • may also cause a sour taste in the back of the mouth.
  • Chronic reflux can sometimes lead to difficulty swallowing and in some cases it can even cause breathing problems like asthma.
  • Reflux Esophagitis
    • Esophagitis – general term for inflammation of the esophagus.
      • can be accompanied by irritation.
    • A type of esophagitis associated with GERD.
      • caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus, damaging the esophageal tissues.
      • often causes heartburn, which may become chronic.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
    • A chronic digestive disease affecting people of all ages, including children.
    • The more serious form of GER and can eventually cause more serious health problems if left untreated.
    • GERD can increase the risk of Barrett’s esophagus.
      • A permanent change in the lining of the esophagus.
  • Most people experience occasional acid reflux or GERD.
  • Called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) if it occurs more than twice a week.
  • Can affect infants and children as well as adults.
  • Children under 12 usually don’t experience heartburn. Instead they have alternative symptoms like:
    • trouble swallowing
    • dry cough
    • asthma
    • laryngitis (loss of voice)
  • Symptoms of Infant GERD:
    • spitting up and vomiting
    • irritability
    • discomfort
    • arching the back during or immediately after feedings
    • poor feeding
    • coughing
  • Serious symptoms include of child GERD:
    • a lack of weight gain
    • refusing to eat
    • breathing problems
  • Serious symptoms of infant GERD:
    • vomits large amounts
    • spits up green or brown fluid
    • has trouble breathing after spitting up
  • GERD symptoms:
    • heartburn
    • regurgitation
    • trouble swallowing
    • a feeling of excessive fullness

DIAGNOSIS

  • Physician may do/request:
    • History & Physical Exam

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATION

Symptoms can generally be controlled through:

    • stopping smoking
    • reducing alcohol consumption
    • eating less fat
    • avoiding foods that set off attacks
    • losing weight
    • sleeping in different positions
    • antacids
    • anti-reflux medication
    • surgery

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