Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
Developing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
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Virtually everyone occasionally experiences heartburn. However, if you have frequent heartburns, especially accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sore throat, wheezing, and persistent cough, among others, you need medical attention. Cypress acid reflux is characterized by mild symptoms, mainly after a heavy meal, taking certain diets, or lying shortly after eating. If the symptoms are overwhelming, as highlighted above, you might have a more serious acid reflux problem referred to as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

GERD results from the stomach’s acid repeatedly flowing back into the esophagus. It is a common problem but should not be overlooked since it can cause serious complications, including leading to precancerous changes in your esophagus. Among the factors that put you at high risk of developing GERD include:

Genetics

GERD risk could be due to some inherited genes. You may inherit structural or muscular issues in the stomach or esophagus, which puts you at high risk of GERD and Barrett’s esophagus (precancerous changes in the esophagus). While you can’t alter the genetics, you can take measures like managing your lifestyle and environmental factors that increase GERD risk.

Weight

Being overweight or obese exposes you to many health threats, GERD included. Excessive weight puts more pressure on the stomach. This forces the stomach acid and the contents back up the esophagus. The repeated flow results in more than acid reflux, emphasizing the need to invest more in weight management to keep it at a healthier range.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy leads to many body changes. Much like extra weight, pregnancy puts more pressure on the stomach as the fetus grows, forcing acid and stomach contents up. Moreover, pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can weaken the lower esophagus, making it easier for the acid and stomach contents to push through.

Hiatal hernia

Hiatal hernia results from the part of the stomach protruding through the diaphragm and to the chest. If the hernia is large, it can cause the stomach contents to go back up the esophagus, increasing GERD risk.

Smoking

Smoking or continued exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to esophagus relaxation, increasing GERD risk. The nicotine does more harm to your overall well-being, emphasizing the need to quit the habit as you strive to remain healthier.

Medication

If you experience acid reflux after taking certain medications or supplements, they could be the main culprit. Some medications can relax the lower esophagus or cause inflammation. This impacts the esophagus’s effectiveness in keeping the stomach acid and contents from flowing back up. Talk to your doctor to establish if there are medication alternatives since stopping the prescription midway may do more harm.

Medical conditions

Some medical concerns, like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and connective tissue disorders, put you at high risk of developing GERD. Moreover, the medications to keep them in check can increase GERD risk.

Untreated GERD exposes you to many complications that can significantly impact your health in the future. If promptly diagnosed, GERD can be effectively treated with simple measures like lifestyle adjustments or medication. In severe cases, you might need surgery, emphasizing the need to seek immediate attention if you experience GERD symptoms. Visit GastroDoxs today for more information on acid reflux and GERD risk factors, prevention, and available treatme

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