How Do the Signs of GERD Vary in Infants and Adults?
A common disease that countless individuals will experience at some point in their lives is acid reflux. A typical symptom of this condition is heartburn, which is known as a blazing discomfort centered in the chest that might get worse directly after eating or as you're lying down. Intermittent heartburn and acid reflux are typically nothing serious. But for people having complications on a regular basis (more than twice each week), they might be a sign of a more serious disease known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Based on research, it's estimated that 20% of people in the U.S. are currently living with GERD. This illness can lead to some major concerns. If you have frequent heartburn and acid reflux, call a gastroenterologist at Arizona Digestive Health in Phoenix, AZ and learn the ways you can ease this illness.
What is GERD?
GERD is a disease that affects the GI system in which stomach acid travels back up the esophagus. When the gastrointestinal tract is healthy, the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), a circular muscle that splits up the esophagus from the stomach, acts as a valve, enabling food to enter the stomach and stopping the contents from traveling back up the esophagus. As the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes improperly, heartburn, acid reflux, and various other signs can develop. GERD is defined as persistent acid reflux, often repeating more than two times weekly. People of any age, along with babies, could develop GERD. If not taken care of, GERD can result in persistent esophageal inflammation. This could eventually lead to the accumulation of scar tissue, ulcers, or open wounds, as well as a heightened risk of esophageal cancer.
What are some causes of GERD?
This disease is a result of a compromised LES. While the distinct instigator of LES dysfunction is often unknown, there are many conditions that elevate the risk of dysfunction and the indications of GERD. These factors are:
- Scleroderma (or different connective tissue illnesses)
- Stomach hernia
- Expecting a child
Certain behaviors, like smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke, may also cause acid reflux and result in GERD. Several medications can cause GERD or enhance the symptoms of GERD, including anti-anxiety meds, calcium channel antagonists, particular asthma prescriptions, and anti-depressants.
What are the indications of GERD in adults?
A universal sign of GERD is regular heartburn. In the event that you notice that you're taking over-the-counter antacids more often than two weeks every week, this may be an indication of GERD. Even so, a person could still have GERD even when they do not notice any heartburn. The indications of GERD, like the quiet GERD symptoms that do not develop in the chest cavity, consist of but aren't limited to:
- Postnasal drip
- Bad breath
- A sensation of a lump in the throat
- Trouble swallowing
- Frequent coughing
- Trouble breathing
What are some of the symptoms of GERD in young children?
Since GERD can be identified in any patient at every stage of life, it is important to make a note of any symptoms when they form in babies. The usual symptoms of GERD in infants consist of:
- Inadequate weight gain or even weight loss
- Constant coughing
- Continual regurgitation
- Swallowing problems
- Refusing to eat
- Arching the back during or soon after meals
If your baby has been exhibiting these chronic signs, partner with a GI specialist at Arizona Digestive Health for an examination at your earliest convenience.
Treating GERD in Phoenix, AZ
When heartburn or different symptoms of GERD are majorly affecting your enjoyment from life, then you can learn more about your options for managing this disease at Arizona Digestive Health. The skilled doctors at Arizona Digestive Health are dedicated to helping people learn about and treat their digestive health while maintaining the highest medical standards. Contact our GI physicians in Phoenix, AZ to learn more information about your treatment options.