Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a chronic digestive disease in which a patient suffers from acid reflux and heartburn. GERD is also called the acid reflux disease. Symptoms of GERD include those of acid reflux and heartburn. Symptoms of heartburn appear as pain and burning sensation in the chest and throat. Cough and symptoms of asthma are also associated with GERD.
Heartburn can be occasional. If heartburn is not treated, it may lead to cancer. GERD is a severe form of acid reflux and a mere episode of heartburn may not be an indicator of GERD, which occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter is abnormally loose. GERD can have varied causes. Possible causes of GERD may include a hiatal hernia, improper expulsion of gastric reflux from the esophagus, or loosening of the muscle at the bottom of esophagus.
4 Best Treatment Options for GERD
Medicine is the first treatment method. The medicinal treatment involves three types of medicines viz. antacids, H2RAs, and PPIs. Some medicines provide relief from symptoms of heartburn and some prevent heartburn. Prescription of medicines also varies. Medicines should be taken after consulting a doctor as they may cause side effects.
Medications help in treating heartburn, but if they are not effective in preventing acid reflux, surgery can be performed. Surgery may be the treatment option used by patients of acid reflux. Surgical treatment is as effective as medicine to cure symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. The treatment involves using a laparoscope, a tool consisting of a tiny camera and other small tools to perform surgery.
Endoscopic treatment is a new type of treatment and is still under study. In this treatment, an endoscope, which is a long tube, is used. No surgical cuts are required in this. This treatment helps in strengthening the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus and for preventing food as well as acid from coming back into the esophagus.
Other than the above treatment methods, natural cures can be very effective treatment methods. A healthy and balanced diet can be beneficial for patients. The diet of patients should not include spicy foods that may worsen their condition. Patients should adopt an anti-reflux diet. Losing 10 percent of weight can help in reducing acid reflux symptoms. Aloe vera juice is a natural remedy that provides relief from acid reflux. Herbal tea can also reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
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