Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Etiology Essay

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Endoscopy allows direct visual inspection of the esophageal lining. Another method used to diagnose GERD is the placement of a probe that measures the acidity in the esophagus. The probe stays in place for a couple of days, while a computer worn around the waist records the acid readings.

Symptoms

The prototypical symptoms of GERD are heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the center of the chest. Another common symptom is regurgitation of stomach acid or stomach contents into the mouth or throat. The strongest predictors of GERD have been shown to be chest pain and nocturnal cough, although chest pain can result from a number of other causes and is therefore not very useful diagnostically. Other symptoms common to GERD include hoarseness, chronic cough, chronic bronchitis, and dental erosions.

Treatment

There are a number of over the counter medications that are used to treat GERD, including Maaloz, Mylanta, Gelusil, Rolaids, and Tums. These antacids provide instant relief, but cannot help reduce esophageal inflammation. H2-receptor antagonists, or blockers, provide slow-acting, long-term relief by reducing stomach acid production. Common H2-receptor antagonists include Tagamet HB (cimetidine), Pepcid AC (famotidine), Axid AR (nizatidine), and Zantac (ranitidine). Proton pump inhibitors also provide relief by inhibiting stomach acid production, and include Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole). Although all of these medications are can be obtained over-the-counter, but stronger doses can be obtained with a prescription. Other treatment options include corrective surgery or medications to strengthen the diaphragm.

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References

Lacy, Brian E., Weiser, Kirsten, Chertoff, Jocelyn, Fass, Ronnie, Pandolfino, John E., Richter, Joel E. et al. (2010). The diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease. American Journal of Medicine, 123, 583-592.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2011). GERD. MayoClinic.com. Retrieved 29 Mar. 2011 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gerd/DS00967.

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"Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Etiology."  Essaytown.com.  March 29, 2012.  Accessed July 27, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-gerd/4224409.