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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Specialist

North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC

Gastroenterologists located in Sherman, Anna, & Across North Texas

Heartburn can feel painful, even crippling, in some cases. If you suffer from the unpleasant symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Joseph Kim, MD, Jermaine Clarke, DO, MBA, and their expert team are here for you. At North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC in Sherman and Anna, Texas, they can diagnose and treat GERD to give you a better quality of life. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

GERD is a condition in which stomach acids flow upward into your esophagus. This tube connects your mouth to your stomach. This can irritate your esophagus lining and increase the risk of unpleasant symptoms and serious medical problems. Many treatments can offer you relief.

Acid reflux happens to just about everybody from time to time. GERD occurs if you experience mild acid reflux at least twice weekly or moderate to severe acid reflux at least once a week. You might be able to manage GERD with simple lifestyle changes, medications, or, in severe cases, surgery.

What are the symptoms of GERD?

Common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease include:

  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • A lump sensation in your throat
  • Regurgitation
  • Chronic dry cough
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Laryngitis
  • Asthma symptoms
  • The taste of acid

If not treated, GERD can cause more serious problems, including chronic esophageal inflammation, esophageal narrowing, ulcers, and precancerous changes to your esophagus.

What are the risk factors for GERD?

Certain things increase your risk of developing gastrointestinal reflux disease. Examples include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Connective tissue disorders

Other risks include:

  • Smoking
  • Eating large meals late at night
  • Eating fried or fatty foods
  • Drinking coffee or alcohol

You should also avoid taking certain medicines, like aspirin, that can upset your stomach.

How does my doctor diagnose GERD?

To find out if you have gastrointestinal reflux disease, your specialist reviews your symptoms and medical history. They might complete a physical exam and check for complications using an upper endoscopy, X-rays, an acid probe test, or a muscle contraction test.

What are my GERD treatment options?

Depending on how severe your GERD is, your GI specialist will suggest one of the following treatments:

Lifestyle changes

Changing your lifestyle habits can reduce GERD symptoms. Examples include losing weight, wearing loose-fitted clothes, not eating large meals before bed, and avoiding spicy foods, fatty foods, acidic foods, alcohol, and smoking. Try eating slowly, not lying down after meals, and elevating the head of your bed when you sleep.

Medications

Taking over-the-counter or prescription medications can reduce the symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux disease.

Surgery

If lifestyle changes and medications don’t reduce or eliminate your GERD symptoms, your doctor can suggest surgery to reduce your acid reflux.

Don’t live with gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) when you don’t have to. Schedule an appointment with North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC by phone or book online today.