Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be caused by the improper functioning or weakening of a sphincter (valve) at the top of the stomach or the bottom of the esophagus (“food pipe”). When this happens, acid is released into the esophagus and causes a number of symptoms that are often mistaken for heartburn. Over time, acid exposure in the esophagus can lead to health complications including ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus (strictures), Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.
GERD affects 1 in 5 adults, but about 60 percent are unaware they have the condition or do not seek treatment. Early intervention and consistent treatment are the best ways to protect yourself against GERD and other digestive complications. An expert gastroenterologist can help you get to the cause of your symptoms and can offer long-term solutions, not just short-term relief.
Chronic belching after meals
Persistent coughing after meals
Recurring acid reflux
Chest pain/burning sensation/indigestion within a few hours of eating
On a PPI more than 8 weeks (Nexium, Prilosec, etc.) and not under the care of a gastroenterologist