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Home > Disease > Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Are you experiencing heartburn or an acidic taste in your mouth after meals? You might be dealing with Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), a common condition that affects many people worldwide. This chronic disorder occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, causing discomfort and sometimes damage to the lining of the throat. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about GORD - from its causes and symptoms to the available treatments and how to live well with it. So let's dive in!

What is GORD?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a chronic digestive disorder that affects the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), which is responsible for preventing stomach acid from flowing back into the oesophagus. When this muscle fails to work correctly, it causes stomach contents to flow upwards into the throat, leading to symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation.

Causes of GORD

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is caused by the weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle at the end of your esophagus that acts as a valve to prevent stomach acid from going back up. When this muscle weakens or relaxes too often, it allows stomach acid to flow upwards into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation.

Certain factors can increase your risk for developing GORD. These include obesity, pregnancy, smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

Other underlying conditions can also contribute to GORD symptoms. Hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm into your chest cavity. This condition can weaken LES and cause acid reflux symptoms.

Symptoms of GORD

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) can cause a wide range of symptoms that vary from person to person. Some people may experience mild symptoms while others may have severe ones.

Some are described below:

  • Heartburn: The most common symptom of GORD is heartburn, which is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest or throat. This usually occurs after eating and can last for several hours.
  • Regurgitation: Another symptom of GORD is regurgitation, which means that stomach acid flows back into the mouth or throat. This can cause a sour taste in the mouth and sometimes lead to vomiting.

Other less common symptoms of GORD include difficulty swallowing, coughing, wheezing, hoarseness or sore throat, and chest pain that feels like a heart attack.

Treatments for GORD

Treatments for Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) depend on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, lifestyle changes may be enough to reduce symptoms. These include avoiding trigger foods such as fatty or spicy meals, eating smaller and more frequent meals, and not lying down immediately after eating.

For severe cases of GORD, surgery may be necessary to strengthen the lower oesophageal sphincter or remove part of the stomach that is causing problems. This is typically only recommended when all other treatments have failed.

Living with GORD

Living with GORD can be challenging, but it is possible to manage the condition and improve your quality of life. One way to do this is by making changes to your diet. Avoiding trigger foods like spicy, acidic or fried foods can help reduce symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion.

Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of large meals can also be helpful. It's important not to lie down immediately after eating, as this increases the risk of acid reflux.

In addition to dietary changes, certain lifestyle modifications can make a big difference in managing GORD. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and avoiding smoking or excessive alcohol consumption are key factors that may help reduce symptoms.

It's also important to talk with your healthcare provider about any medications you may be taking that could contribute to acid reflux symptoms. They may recommend alternative treatments or adjustments in dosage based on your specific needs.

Conclusion

After discussing Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) in detail, it's clear that this condition is a serious problem for many people. It can cause discomfort and pain while interfering with daily life. However, there are steps individuals can take to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Firstly, understanding the causes of GORD is essential for seeking appropriate treatment options. Changes in lifestyle such as losing weight or altering eating habits may help alleviate symptoms. Additionally, medical professionals may prescribe medication or suggest surgery for severe cases.

 

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