How your gastroenterologist in Huntsville, AL, can help when you have GERD
Occasional heartburn is normal, especially if you love spicy foods. If you experience heartburn regularly, it could be a sign of something else, a gastrointestinal condition known as GERD. Your gastroenterologist can help.
Dr. Anthony Ugheoke at Associates In Gastroenterology in Huntsville, AL, provides comprehensive GI services, including diagnosis and treatment of GERD.
If you are wondering if you have GERD, you probably have a few questions. These are just a few of the most frequently asked questions and answers about GERD:
What is GERD and what causes it?
GERD is a term used for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s caused by an incomplete closure of the sphincter muscle separating your esophagus from your stomach. When the sphincter muscle doesn’t work properly, stomach acid can back up into your esophagus, causing signs and symptoms of GERD.
What are the signs and symptoms of GERD?
When you have GERD, you may notice:
- Frequent episodes of bad breath
- Frequent episodes of a sour taste in your mouth
- Frequent sore throats, dry coughing, and wheezing
- Frequent nausea, vomiting, or chest pain
- Increased tooth sensitivity due to eroding tooth enamel
What can I do to get relief from GERD symptoms?
Diet modification can go a long way toward reducing symptoms of GERD. Remember to:
- Eat small meals several times during the day
- Avoid eating a large meal especially before bed
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
- Avoid or limit eating spicy or acidic foods
- Take over-the-counter antacid medications
How can a gastroenterologist help with GERD?
Your gastroenterologist can help you get relief from GERD, and may recommend:
- Dietary and nutritional counseling
- Prescription-strength antacid medications
- Prescription-strength medications to strengthen the esophageal sphincter muscle
- Surgical treatment for severe GERD that doesn’t respond to medication therapy
What can happen if GERD isn’t treated?
Untreated GERD can lead to a variety of medical problems, including:
- Damage to your esophagus
- Esophageal cancer
- Increased dental sensitivity
- Increased dental decay
To find out more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of GERD, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Anthony Ugheoke at Associates In Gastroenterology in Huntsville, AL. You can reach him in the office by calling (256) 883-0098, so call now.