Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Illinois
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What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the term we use to describe the common occurrence of acid reflux. Acid reflux is defined by a singular episode or experience of acid regurgitation from the stomach into the esophagus, referred to as heartburn.
A patient in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL, is usually diagnosed with GERD when acid reflux happens in mild cases one or fewer times a week or when moderate-to-severe acid reflux is experienced at least two times per week. Gastroesophageal reflux disease can develop at any age, but it often develops about the age of 40. If neglected, people may eventually progress to a health concern referred to as Barrett’s esophagus. If you're suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease, we urge you to request a consultation with a gastrointestinal (GI) provider at GI Alliance of Illinois.
What causes GERD?
Whenever we ingest food, it passes through the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to then enter the stomach. Anytime the LES is compromised, it can weaken and fail to prevent stomach acid from regurgitating back into the esophagus. Usually, there is not a single catalyst that encourages this to happen. An individual in Illinois is at greater risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease if they've experienced any of these criteria:
- Being overweight
- Hiatal hernia (when the upper part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm)
- Lie down often after eating
- Eat raw onion or garlic
- Consume large meals late at night
- Coffee consumption
- Use of tobacco
- Scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder)
- Eat spicy foods
- Use of alcohol
To learn more about the causes of GERD, schedule a consultation with our GI providers at GI Alliance of Illinois.
What are common symptoms of GERD?
The primary indications of GERD are quite like acid reflux but may be felt more frequently. Those symptoms can include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Chronic cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lump-in-the-throat sensation
- Disrupted sleep
- Chest pain
- Regurgitation of sour liquids or food
We encourage patients in Illinois to book a meeting with a gastroenterologist at GI Alliance of Illinois as soon as possible if they have any of these symptoms regularly or are in pain, or if they take over-the-counter heartburn medication more often than two times per week.
What are the available treatments for GERD?
Managing gastroesophageal reflux disease might include lifestyle alterations, medical intervention, or both. Treatments to prevent or reduce GERD can in Chicago, IL patients include:
- Tell your GI specialist about the current medications you are taking
- Do not eat foods and drinks prone to cause acid reflux (see the list above)
- Stay awake and stand up after eating
- Lose excess weight
- Do not eat at least two hours before bedtime
- Fundoplication (surgical procedure performed to wrap the stomach around the LES)
- Minimize coffee/caffeine intake
- Prescription-strength antacids (H-2 receptor blockers)
- Avoid smoking
- Medication to strengthen the LES
- Eat slowly and in moderation
- Sleep on an incline
- LINX® device (magnetic beads wrapped around the area where the esophagus and stomach connect)
- Non-prescription antacids
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Find relief From GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is an extremely common problem touching the daily lives of many people. With professional medical treatment, however, it can be treated and its unpleasant symptoms minimized. If you or someone you know is dealing with GERD, the board-certified team of gastroenterologists at GI Alliance of Illinois is ready to help. We encourage you to schedule an appointment at our facility to find treatment for GERD in Illinois.
Dr. Patricia Sun is very patient, kind, knowledgeable and she provides thorough explanations. My daughter has seen Dr. Sun for regular visits over the past several years and every visit is consistently informative, helpful and supportive as well. In addition, Dr. Sun’s calming approach helps me tremendously when dealing with stressful medical issues. Highly recommended!
Good doctor. No nonsense: straight to the point. Has taken care of me for over 7 years. I like his approach and his down to earth demeanor.
Professional and explains everything in detail.
Dr Losurdo and his team are the best. They give the best care from the time you arrive until you are ready to leave. Would highly recommend
This doc….changed my life… My Gerd symptoms, my skin conditions…. This doc through diet recommendations cleared up my skin And through a minimally invasive surgery (after months of alternative testing) helped me overcome my acid reflux, look into this guy, he might be able to help you!