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What is GERD?

Could your annoying heartburn be due to this gastroesophageal condition?

You would love to chow down on that homemade chili your friend made, but you know that the minute you do you’ll be in pain and discomfort. Perhaps you notice that more and more foods bring about a nasty bout of heartburn. Could you be suffering from GERD? Do you have questions for your New Lenox, Joliet, Oak Lawn, Burr Ridge, Frankfort, and Orland Park, IL gastroenterologist? What is GERD? GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition that affects both the stomach and esophagus. Whenever you eat something, the food passes from the esophagus into the stomach. The stomach then produces gastric juices to help move food along. If you have GERD, then the juices and some of the contents of your stomach are actually going back up into the esophagus. What are the symptoms of GERD? Heartburn is the classic symptom of GERD. Heartburn causes a gnawing, burning sensation in the chest that may even radiate to the throat. Sometimes it feels as if food is going to come back up through the throat. You may notice your symptoms get worse after you eat. If you lie down after a meal you may also trigger these uncomfortable symptoms. What causes this digestive disorder? There are some everyday habits that can make you prone to GERD. Smoking, being overweight or eating certain foods and drinks such as fried foods, coffee or alcohol can all contribute to GERD. Women who are pregnant may also be more likely to deal with this problem. What are my treatment options prescribed by your gastroenterologist in New Lenox, Joliet, Oak Lawn, Burr Ridge, Frankfort, and Orland Park, IL? Fortunately, there are many ways to tackle your symptoms and reduce heartburn. There are simple measures such as avoiding certain acidic foods like chocolate, coffee, citrus, and alcohol. Your gastroenterologist can provide you with a list of safe foods that won’t trigger your heartburn. Reducing your weight if you are obese and trying to eat smaller portions can also help. Also, try to avoid eating anything for a couple of hours before bedtime, as lying down not long after eating can trigger symptoms. While you may find some reprieve from your symptoms by taking an over-the-counter antacid, we can also prescribe a stronger medication if these OTC medications aren’t doing the trick. If you want to find out if your symptoms are because of GERD then give us a call today and schedule an appointment with us. The sooner we determine the cause of your symptoms the sooner we can provide you with the relief you need to start enjoying all of your favorite foods again. Call your New Lenox, Joliet, Oak Lawn, Burr Ridge, Frankfort, and Orland Park, IL gastroenterologist to schedule and appointment.

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