Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, also known as acid reflux, is a physiological disorder that causes regurgitation of the stomachs’ content inside the esophagus and oral cavity. The disease generally occurs as a consequence of increased abdominal pressure, compromised activity of the lower esophageal sphincter (muscular valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach) or inappropriate diet and bad eating habits. Acid reflux has a pronounced recurrent character and it generates symptoms such as heartburn, throat inflammation and soreness, difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing.
Common in people of all ages, acid reflux is a topical problem in present. Although acid reflux is not considered to be a serious affection, people confronted with recurrent symptoms can in time develop various complications. Sometimes, untreated acid reflux disease can even facilitate the occurrence of esophageal cancer.
The treatment of acid reflux disease generally involves medications that are aimed at controlling the stomach’s production of gastric acid. The most common medications used in the treatment of acid reflux disease are antacids. Generally prescribed for ulcer sufferers, antacids can temporarily relieve the symptoms generated by acid reflux disease as well. Antacids reduce the acidity of the stomach, thus ameliorating heartburn and other symptoms generated by acid reflux. Although they have limited action, antacids are safe and they can be purchased from any drugstore without medical prescription.
Stronger medications such as Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac and Axid can provide better results for people with acid reflux. These medications act by temporarily blocking the stomach cells that produce gastric acid and pepsin. Combined with antacids, drugs such as Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac and Axid are usually effective in the treatment of acid reflux disease. However, due to the recurrent character of acid reflux, patients often need long-term treatments. If over-the-counter medications can’t provide relief for your symptoms, you should see a doctor in order to receive more suitable medications.
Although acid reflux can be controlled with the means of medication treatments, in special cases the disease may also involve surgery. The surgical treatment of acid reflux is usually recommended for patients who need large doses of medications to relieve their symptoms. Statistics indicate that more than 80 percent of acid reflux disease sufferers experience a recurrence of their symptoms soon after completing the treatment prescribed by the doctor. Thus, acid reflux surgery is probably the best alternative to medication treatments, as it can permanently correct any physiological abnormalities linked with this type of disease.
The surgical treatment of acid reflux disease involves increasing the pressure at the level of the esophagus, tightening the walls of the lower esophageal tract or reshaping the esophageal sphincter. The medical procedures used in the surgical treatment of acid reflux disease are quick and reliable, and they involve few risks. Surgery is considered to be the best means of overcoming acid reflux disease in present.
Author: Groshan Fabiola