GERD: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is GERD?

GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic condition in which the contents of the stomach reflux back to the oesophagus or food pipe (throat) and causes irritation. It is a digestive disorder.
Generally the food flows from oesophagus to stomach and there will be a valve called lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) which prevents the stomach contents to reflux back into the throat whereas in the case of GERD this LES becomes weak and doesnot close properly. And thus acid reflux occurs.

GERD overview IMAGE

Recovery Time

Recovery depends on the type of medications used, diet and lifestyle of the individual usually it may take from few days to weeks.


Your doctor takes the review of symptoms experienced and a few additional tests may be recommended to confirm both the diagnosis as well as the seriousness of your condition.
  • Endoscopy
  • Ambulatory Acid Probe Test
  • Esophageal Motility Testing
  • X-ray of the oesophagus
  • Biopsies

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is GERD?
GERD means Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. This is caused due to reflux of acid gastric contents into the oesophagus due to lax lower oesophageal sphincter. It is commonly referred as ‘Heart burn’ or ‘Acidity’.
Q2.  How do I get GERD?
Wrong dietary habits are the cause of GERD.  Smoking, Alcohol, Spicy junk food all causes GERD.  Excessive Tea, coffee also predispose to GERD.
Q3.  What is the treatment for GERD?
GERD symptoms are controlled with medication which reduce the pH in the stomach, increase the tone of lower oesophageal sphincter and increase the emptying of the stomach contents. If symptoms are severe then surgery is recommended.
Q4.  How long does it take to cure? And are there any chances of recurrence?
Medications will reduce the symptoms. Life style modification with proper diet and exercise will prevent its recurrence.
Q5.  How do I prevent GERD?
You can prevent GERD by following a healthy diet. Avoid excess tea, coffee and junk food. Quit smoking and alcohol consumption. Reduce stress.
Q6.  What are the complications of GERD?
GERD can lead to Hiatus hernia, barrets oesophagus and oesophageal cancer, if not treated appropriately.
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