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GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn are often used interchangeably.

Heartburn is discomfort or burning pain sensation felt on the upper chest. GERD, on the other hand, is a chronic condition and heartburn can be one of its symptoms. 

What is GERD?

GERD is a medical condition in which stomach contents flow backward up into the esophagus. 

This abnormal flow of stomach contents can lead to the symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn, nausea and vomiting, difficulty or pain when swallowing, tooth decay, and bad breath.

What causes GERD?

GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak. This can happen as a result of:

  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Taking certain medications

Is there a cure for GERD?

Initially, GERD will be treated with medications. Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for GERD include proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, and antacids.

Lifestyle changes will also be recommended for managing GERD. 

If drugs and lifestyle changes aren’t improving one’s symptoms over time, surgical intervention may be considered.

Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland has surgeons who have years of experience in surgically treating GERD. 

What happens to GERD when it’s left unmanaged?

When left unmanaged, GERD can lead to a number of complications including inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), respiratory problems, and Barrett’s esophagus, which can lead to cancer.

If lifestyle changes and drug therapy are not improving your GERD symptoms, call us for other options. To request an appointment with one of our surgeons, visit https://www.premiersurgical.com/acid-reflux-appointment-request/