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GERD Treatments in Mansfield

Information About Life With GERD

Gastric acid in the stomach is responsible for breaking down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. Sometimes, however, that gastric acid travels back up the esophagus, causing a painful burn often referred to as heartburn.

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux), is believed to be caused by hiatal hernia, where stomach acid can leak back through the lower part of the esophagus. This kind of pain can make it difficult to eat food or even lie down, as these activities can trigger more heartburn.

Some contributors leading to GERD include:

  • Overeating
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Being overweight
  • Consuming foods high in citrus, fat, chocolate, or spiciness

Diagnosing GERD

As it is possible your GERD is caused by gastritis or an ulcer, it’s important to talk to your doctor and plan a treatment for this harmful condition. Along with looking at your medical history and conducting a physical exam, your doctor could use a number of methods when trying to diagnose GERD.

Methods for detecting GERD include:

  • Upper GI (gastrointestinal) series: Using a fluid to trace through your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, doctors can x-ray the upper digestive tract to see how well your organs are functioning in moving food and liquids along.
  • EGD or upper endoscopy: With a flexible light tube called an endoscope, a physician can look directly into your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine to examine the tissue there.
  • Bernstein test: By dripping a test solution into the esophagus, doctors can see how your body creates acid and whether or not the amount of acid is excessive.
  • Esophageal manometry: Muscles in the digestive tract are tested using a tube that puts gentle pressure on the esophagus. This can help doctors know how well your muscles work in preventing gastric acid from flowing back out of the stomach.
  • pH Monitoring: A tube is inserted down into the esophagus to test the pH levels of fluids that exist where the esophagus and stomach meet.

Treating GERD

How your GERD treatments are carried out will depend largely on your medical history and current health. There are many cases where GERD’s impact can be lessened simply by changing some life habits.

You may be able to manage GERD by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Monitoring your food intake
  • Eating smaller portions
  • Consume less alcohol
  • Elevating the head of your bed 6 inches
  • Avoiding overeating
  • Asking your doctor about H2-blockers and protein pump inhibitors
  • Losing excess weight
  • Taking antacids as directed by your doctor

To find a doctor or request an appointment,
call (214) 947-0000.