How Long Does GERD Last: How To Cure Gerd Permanently? Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disease that occurs when stomach acid rises back into the esophagus at least twice a week. As a result, the lining of the esophagus can become irritated and inflamed.
What happens when I have GERD?
Under normal circumstances, food should enter the mouth towards the lower esophageal sphincter, and close when the food has entered the stomach to prevent the rise of food or stomach acid back into the oesophagus. Their food generally lasts for three to four hours to digest.
However, in the case of GERD, there is an abnormality in the form of too sagging or weak esophageal spfingter lower so that food that has been accommodated in the stomach rises back into the esophagus or it could be just acidic fluid stomach.
When stomach acid or food rises back into the esophagus, generally sufferers experience a burning sensation or heat in their chest. A person can experience mild GERD at least 2 times a week and moderate to severe GERD at least 1 time a week.
Severe disorders that interfere with activity and sleep can also be an indication of GERD. If not handled properly, complications can arise that can harm you. For example, inflammation of the oesophagus can cause bleeding, wounds, ulcers, to scarring of the oesophagus.
This scarring can make the oesophagus narrower which will further interfere with the swallowing process. Among 10-15% of people with prolonged GERD can trigger more serious health problems. One of them is Barrett’s oesophagus which can become esophageal cancer later in life.
Why is GERD dangerous?
Because GERD can cause inflammation in the esophagus called esophagitis. This condition can cause sore throat, difficulty swallowing, severe wounds, and ulcers. If left untreated, chronic esophagitis can result in ulcers, narrowing, even esophageal cancer.
What are the causes of GERD?
GERD is caused by weakness or failure of relaxation of the ring in charge of regulating the process of opening the door cap connecting the lower oesophagus with the stomach. The weakness of this sphincter can occur by itself in pregnant women or obese people.
Those who suffer from asthma, diabetes, scleroderma, and herniated hiatus disease are also susceptible to GERD. Several foods can be a factor that triggers you to get GERD, including coffee, alcohol, chocolate, fried foods, ketchup, garlic, and shallots.
Another thing that can also increase the risk of GERD is bad habits that a person does either consciously or not, such as smoking, the habit of eating food within three hours before bedtime, and reducing the portion of food to be consumed. Also, if you are taking certain medications, such as aspirin, this may increase your risk of developing GERD.
What symptoms can GERD occur?
GERD usually has symptoms similar to mag disease. However, here are some signs you need to be aware of:
Burning sensation in the chest that sometimes spreads to the esophagus. This burning sensation can last for 2 hours and generally strengthens after eating. Lying down can also aggravate symptoms.
- The sensation can also be accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in the mouth
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
- Sore throat and hoarseness
To diagnose GERD, your doctor will collect information from you. The goal is to know the symptoms you are feeling. A 24-hour examination of the amount of stomach acid can also be done to find out how often and how long the process of rising stomach acid occurs.
To see the state of the mucous membranes of the oesophagus and stomach, the doctor can perform a barium meal radiology examination. Before being photographed, you will be asked to drink barium liquid. After that, the photo is done with X-rays.
Also, the examination can be done with an endoscopy, which is a camera device that can monitor the situation directly from your esophagus and stomach. Wounds and ulcers if any can be seen through this examination.
The doctor will suggest Esophageal Manometry which is an examination to see how the rhythm of the esophageal muscles contracts when swallowing. This examination is performed to see the continuity of contraction of the esophageal muscles.
Not only is stomach acid dangerous but you should also know about the uric acid disease in Symptoms of High Uric Acid in Women, and How to Reduce Uric Acid? explaining how to deal with it and what are the factors.
How long can GERD be cured?
Drug therapy can be administered for 8 weeks and evaluated. If there is no change after that period, it is recommended to re-evaluate with an internal medicine specialist to determine if a supporting examination is required and get other therapies or not
What about GERD treatment?
The doctor will usually recommend lifestyle modification therapy and over-the-counter drug use. If within 2 weeks another complaint arises, the doctor will recommend patent treatment and surgery.
GERD therapy can be done by taking gastric acid suppressant drugs such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole. The drug is consumed before meals. Baclofen is a drug to strengthen the sphincter that can be given. However, this drug has side effects of headaches and nausea.
The sphincter itself is a ring of muscle fibers located around the surface of the body. Its function is to regulate the passage of substances needed by the body.
Also, drugs are given to facilitate the movement of the gastrointestinal tract is also sometimes given such as domperidone. However, all such medications should be taken in the doctor’s direction.
When needed, the doctor will recommend the use of drugs to reduce the production of stomach acid known as proton pump inhibitors as well as helping damaged esophageal tissue to recover. The goal is for GERD not to happen again.
If you suspect a GERD disorder, there are several actions you can take. Placing the head pillow a little higher will minimize the symptoms you feel.
You can also overcome the symptoms of temporary GERD by taking over-the-counter gastric medicine (antacids). If that doesn’t work, consult a doctor immediately.
Can GERD be fully recovered?
Can GERD be completely cured? This is not an impossible disease to cure. Over time, it may heal itself after you make healthy lifestyle changes.
What to do if GERD relapses?
If your stomach acid relapses frequently, the trigger may be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition with many possible causes.
Ways to Relieve Symptoms of Rising Stomach Acid:
- Loosen Clothes
- Stand Tall
- Try Drinking Ginger
- Chewing Gum
- Taking Stomach Acid Medication
Are there alternatives to GERD?
If conventional GERD treatment is still not resolved, surgery is required. This method is used to strengthen the esophageal sphincter to make it stronger. There are several methods recommended by the doctor.
Your surgeon will wrap and tighten the area of your lower esophageal spout to prevent reflux from occurring. Usually done with minimally invasive procedures (laparoscopy).
The doctor will install a small magnetic bracelet around the lower esophageal sphincter area and esophagus. The effect of magnetism creates a gap in the area between the esophageal spfingter and the stomach closed to reflux acid but allows food to pass through the gap.
Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF)
This procedure is performed by tightening the lower esophageal sphincter by creating a kind of sac around the lower oesophagus using polypropylene fasteners. However if you have a large hiatal hernia, TIF alone is not an option. However, it is possible if TIF is combined with the repair of laparoscopic Hiatal hernias.