Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a common disease that affects adults and children, and about 20% of the U.S. population, according to the National Institute of Health.
Occasional acid reflux (also known as GER or gastroesophageal reflux) is a very common problem where gastric contents flow back into the esophagus. But those who suffer from reflux more than twice a week may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is more serious and can lead to serious health problems like esophageal inflammation, failure to gain weight, respiratory symptoms, or choking.
In children, GERD can also be referred to as pediatric reflux disease.
GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens spontaneously or does not close properly, and the contents of the stomach, including digestive juices or acid, rise into the esophagus.
You are more likely to have GERD if you are:
With GERD, people may experience indigestion and may be able to taste food or fluid in the back of the mouth. If acid touches the lining of the esophagus, heartburn can result. Other symptoms include belching, dry cough, sore throat, and trouble swallowing.
In children, additional symptoms vary according to age and may include feeding problems, and extremely picky eaters in toddlers, isolated vomiting in school-age children, and heartburn and difficulty swallowing in teenagers.
If you think you may have GERD and have used over-the-counter reflux medications for more than two consecutive weeks, consult your physician. Your doctor may recommend modifications to your lifestyle and medications.
If lifestyle changes and medications do not help treat your symptoms, your health care provider may suggest an Upper Endoscopy to examine your esophagus for abnormalities. Surgery may be warranted.
Upper Endoscopy (EGD)
A procedure that uses a thin scope with a light and camera to view the upper digestive system. Learn more about this procedure and schedule an appointment with a Gastro Health physician at a convenient location.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacterium that infects the stomach. It weakens the protective coating of the stomach and first part of the small intestine, allowing digestive juices to irritate the sensitive lining. This can cause inflammation, chronic gastritis, and ulcers in the stomach or small intestine.
About two-thirds of the world’s population is infected with Helicobacter Pylori, but most don’t know they have the bacterium.
While the exact cause of H. pylori infection is unknown, experts believe that the bacterium can be passed from person-to-person, or through contact with stool or vomit. It may also be ingested through contaminated foods or water.
It’s not clear how to prevent infection but practicing good hygiene can help protect you.
Carriers of H. pylori are typically asymptomatic. However, if a patient has an ulcer or gastritis, they may experience abdominal pain, indigestion, bloating, mild nausea, belching and regurgitation, or feel very hungry one to three hours after eating.
Those with H. pylori infections may be more likely to develop cancer in the stomach, including mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma.
H. pylori is treatable with antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and histamine H2 blockers. Once the bacteria are completely gone from the body, the chance of its return is low.
Hemorrhoids are inflamed or swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum.
There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.
Internal hemorrhoids are so far inside the rectum that you normally can’t feel them due to the lack of pain-sensing nerves in that area. These can prolapse to the outside where you can see and feel them, usually after a bowel movement. Bleeding may be the only sign of internal hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are under the skin around the anus and tend to be painful and bleed.
These veins become inflamed from intense pressure, usually as a result of straining during bowel movements.
Other causes of hemorrhoids include:
Hemorrhoids typically cause bloody stool or bleeding from the anus that can be found on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. Other symptoms include bothersome protrusions, intermittent swelling, irritation, and mild discomfort, especially after a period of diarrhea or constipation.
Smaller hemorrhoids are easily treatable and usually resolve themselves when the source of the pressure is reduced. Adding fiber to your diet and making sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids during the day will help avoid constipation. If possible, avoid straining during a bowel movement. If the constipation does not diminish, you may need to see a doctor to make sure there is not an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Other treatment options including hemorrhoid banding, infrared coagulation of hemorrhoids, and hemorrhoid embolization. Talk to your doctor about which treatment option is best for you.
925 NE 30th Ter, Suite 204, Homestead, Florida 33033 ||| 103400 Overseas Highway, Suite 251, Key Largo, Florida 33037
Homestead (305)974-4822 Key Largo (786) 589-5298
Copyright © 2022 Miami Gastro - All Rights Reserved.