Brian Spivack, M.D., of San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland, California, explains how a hiatal hernia can trigger acid reflux, that sensation of heartburn we get when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. Dr. Spivack outlines ways to treat Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Illness, or GERD, which includes modifications in diet plan, antacid medicines, weight loss, and surgery to repair the hiatal hernia. He explains how repeated acid reflux can lead to cancer of the esophagus and cautions individuals who get reflux two or three times per week to determine their physician.
Most of us often get heartburn at occasions. It could occur either from hot food or from bodily functions. When we say we have heartburn, we?re actually talking about a burning sensation in the esophagus, caused by acid backing up from the stomach. Whilst mild instances of heartburn, or GERD, can effortlessly be treated with antacids nevertheless repeated exposure to damaging acid can result in cancer. The liquid can inflame and harm the lining and can result in esophagitis with the esophagus.
There are visible signs of swelling that occur in a minority of patients. The liquid usually contains acid and pepsin that are produced by the stomach. Pepsin is an enzyme that begins the digestion of proteins within the stomach. The liquid also may contain bile that has backed-up into the stomach from the duodenum that is the first component with the small intestine that attaches towards the stomach. Acid is believed to be probably the most harmful component of the refluxed liquid.
Pepsin and bile also may injure the esophagus, but their role in the production of esophageal swelling and damage isn’t as clear as the role of acid. GERD is really a chronic condition. As soon as it begins, it usually is life-long.
Furthermore, after the esophagus has healed with treatment and therapy is stopped, the injury will return in most patients inside a few months. As soon as treatment for GERD is begun, therefore, it usually will have to be continued indefinitely although it’s argued that in some patients with intermittent symptoms and no esophagitis, treatment may be intermittent and done only throughout symptomatic periods.
In fact, the reflux with the stomach’s liquid contents into the esophagus occurs in most normal individuals. One study discovered that reflux occurs as often in normal individuals as in patients with GERD. In patients with GERD, nevertheless, the refluxed liquid contains acid much more often, and also the acid remains in the esophagus longer. It has also been discovered that liquid refluxes to a greater level in the esophagus in patients with GERD than normal people.
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Brock Lesner is a medical researcher. Learn more about What is GERD.