Mayo Clinic Minute: GERD shouldn’t be ‘simply’ heartburn


Gastroesophageal reflux illness (GERD) is likely one of the most typical digestive issues on the earth.

It occurs when acid comes up from the abdomen, which is acid-resistant, into the esophagus, which is much less acid-resistant.

Dr. James East, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, says GERD could also be frequent, however there may be doubtlessly extreme problems if it is ongoing and left untreated.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:08) is within the downloads on the finish of the submit. Please courtesy: “Mayo Clinic Information Community.” Learn the script.

Heartburn — it is the cardinal symptom of GERD. 

“GERD, gastroesophageal reflux illness, is if you get acid and chemical harm to the liner of the esophagus,” says Dr. East.

You would possibly really feel a lump within the throat, have problem swallowing, have chest ache, a cough, or have worsening asthma-type signs.

“Problems of GERD embrace esophagitis, irritation within the backside of the esophagus,” says Dr. East. “If that is persistent, you may develop scarring and a stricture.”

But when it is persistent and heals, the liner of the esophagus can change to a extra acid-resistant kind, which is Barrett’s esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a fairly frequent complication of GERD,” he says.

It impacts 10% to fifteen% of individuals with GERD. And a a lot smaller group faces one other danger, says Dr. East.

“About 1 in 200 sufferers with Barrett’s esophagus per 12 months will develop esophageal adenocarcinoma.

There are revolutionary therapies for GERD and drugs, like proton pump inhibitors. However first, keep away from triggers, like espresso, alcohol and smoking. 

“If in case you have extreme or frequent GERD, it’s best to search medical recommendation,” advises Dr. East.

Be taught extra about Barrett’s esophagus:

  Watch: Dr. East discusses Barrett’s esophagus

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