Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC
Robert M Narvaez, MD, MBA
Digestive Healthcare Center & Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the cause of poor quality of life for around 20% of American adults. Fortunately, gastroenterologist Robert Narvaez, MD, MBA, offers the latest and most effective remedies for even the most severe cases of GERD at Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC. No need to fear eating and the heartburn that comes with it any longer. Call the San Antonio, Texas, office or schedule an appointment online.
What is GERD?
GERD is serious inflammation within your esophagus, the tube that delivers food to your stomach. This irritation comes from stomach acids. Normally, the sphincter muscle at the bottom of your esophagus keeps food and acids in your stomach.
With GERD, however, the sphincter muscle malfunctions. This allows acid to move back into your esophagus, which is called acid reflux. This damages your esophageal lining and causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
What are the symptoms of GERD?
When you have GERD, you typically experience a painful burning known as heartburn in the breastbone area, which can expand to your neck and throat. Other GERD symptoms include:
- Sour taste in back of the throat
- Sore throat
- Gravelly voice
- Dry cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lump in your throat
- Food sticking in the throat
- Unintended weight loss
GERD symptoms often get worse after you eat, and the pain or discomfort can continue for a few hours.
Is GERD different from regular heartburn?
Yes, they’re different. Most people have a brief bout of heartburn once in a while. But if you have persistent heartburn at least twice a week, along with some of the more serious complications like weight loss and difficulty eating, Dr. Narvaez may diagnose you with GERD.
How do you treat GERD?
Dr. Narvaez may prescribe both lifestyle changes and medication for GERD. Medications can include:
- Antacids that neutralize extra stomach acid
- H2 blockers that decrease stomach acid secretions
- Proton pump inhibitors that relieve symptoms and help heal the esophagus
- Promotility agents that strengthen your sphincter muscle
Dr. Narvaez works with you to find your GERD triggers, which may include citrus fruits, spicy foods, and foods high in acid, like tomatoes. With some specific dietary changes, you can often dramatically ease symptoms.
Other lifestyle changes that can help include raising the head of your bed, not lying down for at least a couple of hours after you eat, and not eating before bedtime.
If your symptoms don’t get better with lifestyle and medication management, Dr. Narvaez may perform additional testing, like an upper endoscopy or a barium X-ray of your upper digestive system, to look for hidden damage and underlying problems.
For severe treatment-resistant GERD, you may need a surgical procedure to tighten the sphincter muscle and prevent reflux.
At Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC, Dr. Narvaez delivers the best in GERD care using the latest innovations. Call the office or use the online appointment tool now.