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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease


Gastroesophageal reflux disease, (GERD) consists of a spectrum of symptoms that occur when gastric acid refluxes into the esophagus, thereby causing damage to it. One of the major contributing factors to GERD is the inability of the stomach to empty itself in a normal fashion (a motility disorder). This then leads to prolonged periods of contact between acid and the esophageal wall, thereby leading to inflammation and scarring of the esophagus.

Persons with occasional mild symptoms of GERD may not require any specific evaluation and may be candidates for direct treatment. Patients with regular symptoms of GERD (weekly symptoms or symptoms on a consistent basis) or patients with heartburn associated with difficulty swallowing, weight loss, anemia or bleeding need to be evaluated on a more aggressive basis.

The goal of medical care is to relieve symptoms and heal esophagitis. The severity of GERD symptoms and complications influence therapy selection. The symptoms of GERD are generally well controlled with appropriate lifestyle changes and available drug therapy. In very severe cases, surgery may needed to receive an acceptable response.

Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide

The Medifocus Guide on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:

What Your Doctor Reads:

This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:

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