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GERD Specialist

GERD

GERD services offered in South Bend, Plymouth and LaPorte, IN

About 2 in 10 Americans have Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) today. If you have GERD-related issues like heartburn, hoarseness, or swallowing pain, Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc has answers waiting for you in their offices in Plymouth, La Porte, and South Bend, Indiana, with an additional office in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street. GERD can disrupt your life, and it might lead to serious complications, so don’t wait to get your symptoms checked out. Call the nearest office or use the online scheduler to arrange your visit with a GI expert now.


GERD Q & A

What is GERD?

GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition that occurs when your stomach contents reflux or back up into your esophagus (food pipe), throat, and mouth. Because your stomach contains digestive juices and acids, this backing-up process is called acid reflux.

Most people have acid reflux once in a while, and it’s not a serious issue if you have it very rarely. But, GERD — chronic acid reflux — is another matter. People with GERD have frequent acid reflux, causing symptoms that disrupt their lives.

GERD can cause serious complications, including esophageal narrowing (stricture), esophageal ulcers, and precancerous tissue changes in your esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus.) So if you have symptoms of GERD it’s important that you schedule an evaluation at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of GERD?

GERD can cause a number of issues, with the most common being heartburn (a burning feeling in your upper chest) twice a week or more. Heartburn usually occurs after you eat.

In addition, many people with GERD experience issues like: 

  • Chronic cough
  • Sore throat
  • Lump-in-throat sensation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Food sticking in your throat when you swallow
  • Hoarseness
  • Bitter taste in the back of your mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea

People with GERD may experience these issues multiple times per week or even daily, making it very difficult to eat and live normally. 

How is GERD diagnosed?

GERD diagnosis may simply require a physical exam and thorough symptom review. However, if your symptoms are particularly severe, atypical of GERD, or don’t improve with initial treatment, you may need tests to verify that GERD is the problem.

Such tests may include:  

  • Esophageal pH monitoring: acid monitoring in your esophagus
  • Upper endoscopy: imaging of your upper digestive tract
  • Upper gastrointestinal series: X-ray of your upper digestive system
  • Esophageal manometry: measuring muscle contractions and force in your esophagus

If your provider is considering recommending an anti-reflux procedure, they’ll likely perform one of more of these tests beforehand.

How is GERD treated?

GERD treatment usually includes lifestyle adjustments and medication, such as:

  • Avoiding trigger foods, like citrus and coffee
  • Losing extra weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Raising the head of your bed
  • Eating your last meal several hours before bedtime
  • Antacids to neutralize acid
  • Proton pump inhibitors to disrupt stomach acid production
  • H-2 receptor blockers to temporarily reduce stomach acid production

GERD treatment doesn’t work the same way for everyone because each person has unique issues. You may need a specific combination of these measures.

Or, you might need an advanced minimally invasive procedure called transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF). In the TIF procedure, your Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provider restores your esophageal valve during an endoscopy, which stops acid reflux. TIF eliminates the need for incisions and greatly shortens your recovery.

Ready to learn more about your GERD treatment options? Call Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc or click on the provided link now.