Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Ocean Springs, MS

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, sometimes called GERD, is a term used to describe the result of the common experience of acid reflux. Acid reflux refers to a singular occurrence or experience of acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus, referred to as heartburn.

A person is generally diagnosed with GERD when acid reflux is experienced in mild cases one or fewer times a week or when moderate-to-severe acid reflux happens at least twice weekly. GERD is known to develop at any time, but it usually develops close to 40 years of age. If neglected, patients may later develop a complication known as Barrett’s esophagus. If you might be suffering from GERD, we strongly recommend that you visit a gastroenterologist at a local Digestive Health Center in Ocean Springs, MS as soon as possible.

Anytime you consume food, it progresses through the esophagus and beyond the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and then to your stomach. Whenever the LES grows compromised, it can lose strength and fail to stop stomach acid from regurgitating back into the esophagus. Usually, there is not a single cause that allows this to happen repeatedly, but an individual is at a greater risk of having or developing gastroesophageal reflux disease if you meet one or more of these criteria:

  • Use of tobacco
  • Hiatal hernia (when the upper part of the stomach pushes into the diaphragm)
  • Lie down often after eating
  • Obesity
  • Coffee consumption
  • Consume raw onion or garlic
  • Alcohol use
  • Eat spicy foods
  • Scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder)
  • Pregnancy
  • Eat large meals late at night

The primary symptoms of GERD are similar to acid reflux but may occur with greater frequency. These symptoms include:

  • Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Chronic cough
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bloating
  • Laryngitis
  • Chest pain
  • Asthma
  • Lump-in-the-throat sensation

We encourage you to request a consultation with a GI provider at Digestive Health Center today if you struggle with any of the listed symptoms frequently, are in pain, or use OTC heartburn medication more often than twice a week.

Treating gastroesophageal reflux disease could include lifestyle changes, medical care, or a combination of both. Treatment approaches to help avoid or alleviate GERD in Ocean Springs, MS patients may consist of:

  • LINX® device (magnetic beads wrapped around the area where the esophagus and stomach connect)
  • Remain awake and stand up after eating
  • Prescription-strength antacids (H-2 receptor blockers)
  • Tell your gastroenterologist about the current medications you are taking
  • Over-the-counter antacids
  • Limit caffeine/coffee intake
  • Fundoplication (surgical procedure performed to wrap the stomach around the LES)
  • Avoid eating a minimum of two hours before going to bed
  • Medication to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter
  • Sleep at an incline
  • Do not eat foods and beverages prone to cause acid reflux (see the list above)
  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat in moderation and slowly
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How do I know if I have GERD or acid reflux?

The difference between acid reflux and GERD may be challenging. But GERD is just acid reflux that persists several times a week for a prolonged period. If you undergo heartburn or any other symptoms either daily or several times within the week, or you experience symptoms that will not fade with over-the-counter options, you might be experiencing GERD.

What foods should I cut from my diet if I am dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease?

Food that aids in the buildup of acid in the belly should be avoided if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease. Some examples include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Sugary foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Salty or peppery foods
  • Caffeine
  • High-fat foods
  • Red meat

Our Digestive Health Center team of GI specialists can give you more details on the foods to avoid if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Will GERD shorten your lifespan?

GERD is generally not life-threatening. It might make day-to-day tasks more difficult occasionally, but you should be able to find some reprieve with a suitable treatment method. If left alone, gastroesophageal reflux disease could lead to additional issues. Some may involve esophagitis (inflammation of the lining of the esophagus) and Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that can cause damage to the esophagus (the structure that links your mouth to your stomach). Receiving the care you need for this disease can help protect your general health and wellness.

How long will it take for GERD to resolve after treatment begins?

There are some factors that play into how long it may take before you begin feeling more like your usual self if you experience gastroesophageal reflux disease. This includes the form of medication you are taking, the amount of damage that has occurred from your GERD before being diagnosed, and if you maintain a diet without foods that bring about your symptoms. That being said, with the proper treatment, you should start noticing that symptoms are less and less as time goes on. While you may not be able to extinguish gastroesophageal reflux disease completely, you should be able to manage your symptoms.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common issue impacting numerous people's lives. However, your GERD can be addressed with proper treatment, and its distressing symptoms can be minimized. If you or someone you love suffers from GERD, the experienced team of gastroenterology specialists at Digestive Health Center is available to help. We encourage you to request a consultation at a local facility to find treatment for GERD in Ocean Springs, MS.

Dr McNair has treated me since 1983. My Mother n law was seriously ill in SRH. Dr McNair came in ICU and saved her life. That year 1983 I made an appt to be one of his patients. He had not been on the Coast very long at all. But took me as new patient…I still am a patient of Dr A McNair. He’s Brilliant. I love the whole team❤️ May 1, 2023

C.T. Google

He is the bomb! I LOVED him when I was sick. And he is very entertaining too.

S.T. Google

Great Doctor walked in talking to my dad as if he'd known him all his life and then he mentioned why he does what he does ...the Lord! This is the Doctor that will do my Dads procedure....Wonderful man.

L.J. Google

went in for visit, good feeling upon arrival, very professional and informative about my childs condition, will be back for follow up and annuals.

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Dr. Is awesome. The wait to get in and while there sucks.

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