Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Fremont Gastroenterologist at Washington Township Medical Foundation

GERD is an acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a gastrointestinal condition that affects the digestive system—specifically the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the ring of muscle found between the stomach and the esophagus. This digestive disease is treatable, but symptoms can be very painful. If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, ask your gastroenterologist at Washington Township Medical Foundation about treatments that could be helpful.

What Does GERD Feel Like?

GERD is a chronic condition that is caused by stomach acid or bile flowing back into the food pipe and irritating the lining. This often feels like a burning sensation in the throat. You can also experience other symptoms such as a sour taste in your mouth, burning or pain in the chest, and frequent burping. If you experience acid reflux and / or heartburn over twice a week, you may be diagnosed with GERD. Prolonged stomach acid exposure can cause irritation of the esophagus, potentially leading to erosive esophagitis. Ask your doctor about this condition.

Managing GERD Symptoms

The following steps can help you manage symptoms related to GERD:

  • Avoiding “trigger foods” such as fried foods, fatty foods, peppermint / spearmint, chocolate, spicy food, onions, citrus, alcohol, coffee, tomatoes, and caffeinated beverages
  • Focus on eating smaller meals more frequently rather than large meals
  • Elevate the head of your bed to help prevent acid from backing up in your food pipe
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Don’t eat for two to three hours before going to bed.