December 12, 2018 Our Circle of Moms

By: Cyndy Muchine

Who doesn’t love coffee or tea? Some more than others but this is one of the biggest triggers of GERD also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. When you feel that heartburn that never goes away, you begin to wonder if indeed it is a mere heartburn. I recommend a visit to your doctor. GERD occurs when the stomach acid flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. This is known as esophagus. Acid reflux occurs when the esophageal sphincter muscle relaxes at the wrong time, allowing stomach acid to back up into your esophagus. This causes some irritation to the lining of the esophagus.

GERDSome of the most common symptoms are  heartburn which mostly occurs after a meal but worsens when you go to bed. In addition to this, you may encounter chest pain and difficulty swallowing and regurgitation. Have you ever experienced such? A feeling of some sour liquid in your mouth? If you have asthma, you’re at a higher risk.

Risk factors associated with GERD may vary from one individual to another. Obesity is considered one of the risk factors.  I mean seriously? I am a tea person. If a doctor told me to quit drinking tea, life would be over, but maybe over quicker if I didn’t change my lifestyle, right? Pregnancy! A woman is supposed to enjoy her pregnancy, not worry about GERD, not so attractive I might add! Of course, if you smoke or consume too much caffeine like tea and coffee, or eat large meals before bedtime, you stand a huge chance of aggravating acid reflux.

If the above is not adhered to, you run into situations such as narrowing of the esophagus that will cause scar tissues leading to swallowing issues or bleeding. Oh, the worst is precancerous changes to the esophagus if not taken care of in time.

Your doctor may use x-rays or endoscopy to confirm your GERD diagnosis.  GERD may be treatable by weight loss, no smoking, and a decrease in alcohol and caffeine intake, etc. Sometimes, the doctors may prescribe antacids and H-2 blockers to decrease the effects of the stomach acid.


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