It’s not abnormal to experience heartburn after a heavy meal every once in a while. But if you’re experiencing the burning on a regular basis, more than once a week, then you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The specialists at Colorado Gastroenterology, with offices in Denver and Aurora, can diagnose and treat any condition that affects your digestive tract, including GERD. For a comprehensive evaluation, call the office today.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive condition in which the acid from your stomach refluxes up into your esophagus, which can cause irritation and damage to the delicate tissue.
When you eat, the food you swallow travels down your esophagus and through the lower esophageal sphincter, which is a strong muscle that separates your esophagus from your stomach. If your lower esophageal sphincter isn’t able to close properly, due to a weakening or abnormality of the muscle, the acidic contents of your stomach regurgitates through the sphincter up into your esophagus, causing the burning sensation.
Heartburn from time to time is normal. But with GERD, the burning sensation may occur more often and cause other symptoms, such as:
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, contact the team at Colorado Gastroenterology for an evaluation. If left untreated, your GERD may lead to other health complications, such as esophageal strictures or an esophageal ulcer.
Your specialist at Colorado Gastroenterology may be able to diagnose your GERD based on your symptoms and medical history. However, to confirm a diagnosis, you may need additional testing, such as:
The additional testing may also provide information about the severity of your GERD and if you have any esophageal damage.
Treatment for your GERD may depend on the severity of your symptoms. You may be able to reduce the reflux by making a few modifications to your diet and taking over-the-counter medication.
If you can’t get relief from your pain, your specialist at Colorado Gastroenterology may add prescription strength medication. While most people can manage their GERD with medication, if you’re looking for a long-term solution for the reflux, your specialist may recommend:
To get the help you need for your GERD and relief from your burning pain, call Colorado Gastroenterology today.