Long Island Gastro
Gastroenterology Practice located in Syosset, NY
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects about 20% of the United States population. To reduce your discomfort and prevent complications, the team at Long Island Gastro in Syosset, New York, offers customized solutions to chronic GERD symptoms. Board-certified gastroenterologists, Kostas Sideridis, DO, and Jaydeep Kadam, MD, provide on-site diagnostic testing, including upper endoscopies, to evaluate your esophageal health. Don’t suffer from chronic heartburn or pain another second. Request a consultation online or by phone today.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Q&A
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
GERD is a condition that results when the acids in your stomach frequently flow back into your esophagus — the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach.
Acids can flow backward due to dysfunction in the valve that normally opens to allow food to pass and closes to keep acids in the stomach. When this valve is weak or relaxes abnormally, acids can flow back into your esophagus.
While occasional acid reflux affects many people, chronic GERD occurs more often, at least once a week. The most common symptoms of GERD include:
- Chest pain
- Chronic cough
- Difficulties swallowing
You may also have a persistent sour taste in your mouth or experience regurgitation of food after meals.
What are my risk factors for GERD?
While anyone can develop GERD, especially as they get older, you risk increases due to factors like:
- Hiatal hernia
- Smoking history
- Use of certain medications
You may also be prone to GERD if you eat large meals or if your diet is high in fatty or fried foods. Coffee and alcohol can also trigger GERD symptoms.
Without treatment, chronic GERD can lead to damage in the lining of your esophagus that causes scar tissue to form. Excess tissue can narrow your esophagus and interfere with digestion and breathing.
You may also develop ulcers or open sores in the esophageal lining, which can increase your risk for cancer.
How is GERD diagnosed?
During your evaluation for GERD, your Long Island Gastro provider reviews your medical history, discusses your diet and lifestyle, and evaluates the severity and frequency of your symptoms.
To identify damage that’s already affecting your digestive tract, you may need imaging tests, like an upper endoscopy. This procedure involves the insertion of a special tube with an attached light and camera that transmits images of your inner structures to an external monitor. This test allows your Long Island Gastro provider the opportunity to identify tissue damage, ulcers, and other side effects of GERD.
How is GERD treated?
There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can treat GERD. Some medications quickly neutralize stomach acid to relieve heartburn, while others provide long-lasting relief of GERD symptoms by slowing down acid production in the stomach. You may also need to make changes in your diet to avoid spicy foods and other substances that can trigger GERD.
When GERD isn’t treatable with medications and diet changes, your Long Island Gastro provider may suggest surgery to tighten the valve in your esophagus to keep out stomach acids — a procedure known as a fundoplication.
There’s no reason you need to suffer from persistent symptoms of GERD. Request a diagnostic evaluation at Long Island Gastro using the online booking system or by calling the office today.
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