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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Common names: heartburn, GERD, acid reflux diseases, indigestion, acid buildup, LES


What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

  • Reverse flow of gastric or duodenal contents into the esophagus and past the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), without associated belching or vomiting.
  • Reflux of gastric acid, causing acute epigastric pain, usally after you eating.
  • Also called or known as Heartburn


Current Statistics:

  • GERD affects about 7 million U.S. residents
  • Affects all ethnic groups and socioeconomic classes
  • Most common in people ages 45 to 64 years old

Risk Factors:

  • Ant agent that lowers LES pressure: acidic and fatty food, alcohol, cigarettes, anticholinergics or other drugs (morphine, diazepam, calcium channel blockers, meperidine).
  • Nasogastric (NG) intubation for longer than 4 days.


Assess Your Symtoms

  • Heartburn that typically occurs 1 to 2 hours after eating.
  • Heartburn that worsens with strenuous exercise, bending, lying down, wearing tight clothing, coughing, constipation, and being overweight.
  • Regurgitation without associated nausea or belching
  • Feeling the fluid accumulate in your throat with a sour or bitter taste in your mouth
  • Chronic pain radiating in your neck, jaw, and arms that may mimic angina pectoris (chest pain)


Physical Symtoms

  • Sharp substernal pain when swallowing
  • Bright red or dark brown in your vomit
  • laryngitis amd morning hoareness


  • Modify your lifestyle
  • Integrate Positional Therapy
  • Remove certain foods from your diet
  • Reduce your weight, if needed
  • Avoid eating 2 hours before sleep


Medications that can Help

Antagonists such as cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine.

Inhibitors such as esomeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, and rabeprazole.


Factors that affect LES Pressure

Changes to your diet can increase or decrease lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure.


Foods that increases LES Pressure:

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Non-fat milk
  4. Low-dose ethanol


What decreases LES Pressure:

  1. Tomatoes 
  2. Orange Juice
  3. Whole milk
  4. Fat
  5. Antiflatulent (simethicone)
  6. Chocolate
  7. High-dose ethanol
  8. Cigarette smoking
  9. Lying on your side (left or right)
  10. Sitting 


Note: The information above is just is only for informational purposes only and is just a general reference guide. If you have an emergency call 911 directly or speak with your doctor immediately.



- L, W & W


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