Understanding Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus.
Refluxed stomach acid that touches the lining of the esophagus can cause
heartburn. Also called acid indigestion, heartburn is an uncomfortable,
burning feeling in the chest, behind the breastbone, or in the upper part
of the abdomen.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious, chronic form
of acid reflux. Reflux which occurs more than twice a week for a few weeks
could be GERD, and over time if left untreated, can lead to more serious
health problems including bleeding ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus,
Barrett’s Esophagus, and esophageal cancer. Some other common symptoms
of GERD include:
- Dry, chronic cough
- Asthma and recurrent pneumonia
- Sore throat, hoarseness, or laryngitis—swelling and irritation of
the voice box
- Difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing
- Dental erosion and bad breath
One way to test for GERD is to have an upper endoscopic procedure called
an EGD. An EGD is a procedure in which a thin scope with a light and camera
at its tip is used to look inside of the upper digestive tract. To diagnose
GERD, your physician looks directly at the esophagus and stomach, and
removes a tissue sample for analysis.
Make an Appointment
The Endoscopy/Procedure Center is home to state-of-the-art technology used
to detect a wide array of digestive problems, such as acid reflux, stomach
ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s
disease, colon polyps, early signs of cancers and more. Call 734.458.3343
for more information or if you need assistance scheduling your appointment.
Need a GCH Health Expert? Search our online
Physician Directory or call 877.717.WELL.