Gerd aka gastroesophageal reflux, is a black flow of stomach contents that gets pushed upwards into the esophagus .The lining of the stomach protects the stomach from the effects of its own acids. Because the esophagus lacks a similar protective lining, stomach acid that refluxes into it causes pain, inflammation, and damage. Acid refluxes when in the lower esophageal sphincter isn't functioning properly. The force of gravity contributes to reflux when a person lays down. The degree of inflammation caused by reflux depends on the acidity of the stomach contents, the volume of the stomach acid in the tated fluid from the esophagus.
The most obvious symptom of AR is heartburn, a burning pain behind the breast bone. The pain-which rises in the chest and may extend into the neck, throat, or even the face.--is caused by the acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. It usually occurs after meals or while lying down. Heartburn may be accompanied by regurgitation of stomach contents into the mouth or excessive salivation. A high level of salivation that results when stomach acid irritates the inflamed lower esophagus is called water brash.
Complications of AR include narrowing of an area of the esophagus(peptic esophageal stricture), esophageal ulcer, and precancerous changes in the lining of the esophagus (Barrett's syndrome). Inflammation of the esophagus may cause pain during swallowing and bleeding that's usually slight but can be massive. Narrowing makes swallowing solid foods increasingly more difficult. Peptic esophageal ulcers are painful open sores of the esophageal lining. The pain is usually behind the breastbone or just below it and can usually be relieved by antacids. Healing requires drugs that reduce stomach acid over a period of weeks. The ulcers heal slowly, tend to recur, and usually leave a narrow esophagus after healing.
Several measures may be taken to relieve acid reflux. Raising the head of the bed a few inches can keep the acid flowing away from the esophagus as a person sleeps or use several pillows to help as well. Avoiding coffee, alcohol, and other substances that strongly stimulate the stomach to produce acid can help.Also a person can take antacid 1 hour after meals and another at bed time to neutralize stomach acid and possibly reduce leakage from the lower esophageal sphincter. Taking drugs such as cimetidine or ranitidine can reduce stomach acidity.
A person should avoid specific foods( for example; ) fats, spicy, critis chocolate. Smoking and certain drugs.... all which increase the tendency of the lower esophageal sphincter to leak. A health care provider may script a cholinergic drug,,Such as bethancechole, metoclopramide or cisapride to allow the lower sphincter to close more tighter.