If you’re suffering from the painful symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), you may be wondering if a GERD treatment could offer you some benefits. Our team at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center in Rego Park and New York, NY, is here with some answers.
What Are the Benefits of GERD Treatment?
- It Can Help You Feel Better
- GERD is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, and it can come with a host of uncomfortable symptoms. GERD treatment can help improve your daily comfort levels. One of the symptoms that can be improved with GERD treatment is heartburn.
- This burning sensation can pop up after a meal or if you’re bending over or lying down. While it’s nothing to be concerned about when it’s infrequent, chronic heartburn can be painful as well as damaging. It can also get in the way of you being able to relax and enjoy a good meal or even take a comfortable nap.
Other Symptoms of GERD
If you’ve noticed a bitter or sour taste in the back of your mouth, you might be dealing with acid reflux, another symptom of GERD. Acid reflux is unpleasant as is, but it’s even worse when it causes regurgitation. This doesn’t just bring a disagreeable taste to your mouth, it may also make you feel like your mouth and throat are burning or irritated.
People with GERD may also have some trouble swallowing, or feel like there’s something stuck in their throat. When these symptoms are the norm instead of the exception, it may be time to seek out treatment and improve your comfort levels.
- Treatment May Prevent Lasting Damage
- Stomach acid is supposed to be in the stomach breaking down food. When it ends up in the esophagus it can lead to pain, inflammation, and even tissue damage over time. If chronic GERD goes untreated, it may permanently damage your esophagus over time.
What Causes GERD?
Your lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, has the important job of relaxing when you swallow and tightening back up when you’re not eating or drinking. The problem is the LES doesn’t always do a stellar job. If your LES isn’t properly closed this can allow your stomach contents, like digestive juices, to wash right back up and into your esophagus where it definitely doesn’t belong.
How Do I Know if I Have GERD?
If you’ve gone through the symptoms of acid reflux twice or more in a week, you may have GERD. While reading about symptoms online can be a helpful and sometimes empowering tool, it’s important to seek out an official diagnosis as soon as possible. Some symptoms of GERD can overlap with other health issues, so it’s vital to know you’re treating the right thing.
GERD Can Affect Infants Too
This condition doesn’t just affect adults. Since babies often spit up their food, it can be easy to miss the signs of GERD in infants. It often causes infants to vomit more often than is considered normal, but it can also present as a lack of appetite, strong gag reflex, or trouble swallowing. Infants with GERD may also have frequent “wet burps”, coughing, and hiccups. They may also be restless and irritable during or after they’re fed.
If you suspect your baby has symptoms of GERD that are negatively affecting them, it’s important to have those concerns looked into right away. Sometimes simple feeding or postural changes may be helpful in relieving the symptoms.
Factors That May Put You More at Risk for GERD
- Hormone changes during pregnancy can relax the muscles in your LES, which means that stomach acid can come back up a little more frequently than usual. Another cause can be the pressure your stomach is put under as a fetus grows. With the uterus expanding, things can get cramped and that can lead to food being pushed up into your esophagus.
- Excess fat, especially around the middle of the body, may put some additional pressure on the stomach and could lead to symptoms of GERD. Some individuals affected by obesity may have higher estrogen levels than before. These hormonal changes could also play a role in the development of GERD.
- Hiatal Hernias
- Sometimes the stomach will bulge through a small hole in your diaphragm, and this condition is known as a hiatal hernia. The cause of this type of hernia can be difficult to determine, although abdominal pressure or supportive tissues being weakened may play a role in its development. This condition can sometimes lead to GERD.
The Importance of Seeking an Official Diagnosis
Our team can offer an endoscopy as a way to get a clear picture of your upper digestive system and determine whether or not you’re suffering from GERD. It can also help diagnose gastrointestinal bleeding and general abdominal pain.
The goal of an endoscopy is to figure out what needs to be treated. Once you know the root of the issue, it’s usually much easier to find an effective treatment.
What To Expect From an Endoscopy
Before you come in for an endoscopy, we’ll give you some instructions you can follow at home. The endoscopy itself involves a small tube known as an endoscope being inserted into your mouth and lowered through the esophagus until it reaches the stomach.
The camera at the end of this tube gives us a view into any issues that are going on in your upper digestive system. This is a crucial way to gather evidence of any gastrointestinal disease that could be causing your symptoms.
Another route we can take is a capsule endoscopy, which involves you swallowing a capsule about the size you’d expect an oral vitamin supplement to be. This capsule is able to wirelessly transmit images to us so we can be on the lookout for any red flags throughout your digestive system. The capsule will harmlessly and naturally leave your body when you use the restroom.
Your Comfort Is Key
Throughout this entire process, we’ll take every measure to keep you relaxed and comfortable. If you have any questions about the process at all, please feel free to bring them to us. We know diagnostic tools like this can sound scary, but it’s really a simple process and we want you to feel confident about it and comfortable with it.
We’ll go over anything we’ve observed with you, and if we collect any biopsies during the diagnosis we’ll get those results to you as soon as possible.
Are There Any At-Home Treatments?
There may be some things you can try to alleviate the symptoms of GERD, although the process can be a bit trial and error. Eating smaller, more frequent meals may be helpful for some, and try drinking in-between your meals instead of during them. Slow down and chew thoroughly as you eat, and avoid eating right before you head to bed.
Make note of any food or drink that seems to trigger heartburn, and try avoiding them to see if that resolves the issue. Fatty, spicy, or acidic foods may contribute to heartburn for some people, while others may react to carbonated drinks or caffeine. After you’re done eating, wait for your food to settle for an hour or so before you lay down.
Other Tips That May Help
Other tips that may help with some of your symptoms can include:
- Avoiding tight-fitting clothes
- Upper body elevation during sleep
- Quelling symptoms with soothing food like yogurt
- Another thing that may help reduce your symptoms is through reducing your weight.
What if At-Home Treatments Don’t Work?
There seems to be a positive correlation between weight loss and a reduction in GERD symptoms. Safely losing enough weight to make a difference, and keeping the weight off, can be a significant challenge for many patients. For this reason, weight loss surgery may be able to offer long-term relief from your GERD symptoms, especially if you struggle with central obesity.
Our Team Can Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals
At Batash Medical, our weight loss center offers several treatment options to help you reduce your weight and improve your health. These treatments may include:
In addition to our treatments, we offer OnTrack Coaching. Our team doesn’t just send you on your way after treatment, we’re here to support you through every step of the process. That means we believe in offering a lifetime of OnTrack Coaching for every patient who receives Orbera or Suture Sculpt treatments.
This is a counseling and lifestyle program that is custom-made to coach you and help you both reach and maintain your weight goals. The right diet and exercise program doesn’t just help you get the best results from treatment, it can help improve your long-term health.
Get Your Health Back Under Control
If you’re ready to learn more about our variety of treatments and diagnostic tools, contact our helpful team at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center in Rego Park and New York, NY, today for your consultation!