GERD Virtual Care
What Is GERD?
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a common condition that affects the digestive system. It occurs when stomach acid and other digestive juices flow back up into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. This can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including heartburn, chest pain, and a sour taste in the mouth.
Causes of GERD
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of GERD. One of the main causes is a weakness in the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When the LES is weak or relaxes at the wrong times, it allows stomach acid and other digestive juices to flow back up into the esophagus. Other factors that may contribute to GERD include obesity, pregnancy, smoking, and certain medications.
Symptoms of GERD can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Heartburn: A burning sensation in the chest that often occurs after eating and can be worse when lying down
- Chest pain: A sharp or dull pain in the chest that may be worse when swallowing or coughing
- A sour taste in the mouth: This can be caused by the reflux of stomach acid into the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing: This may be a sign of a more severe form of GERD known as esophagitis
- Persistent cough or hoarseness: This can be caused by acid irritation of the throat and vocal cords
- Regurgitation: The feeling of food or liquid coming back up into the mouth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms regularly, it’s essential to seek medical attention. While heartburn and other digestive issues are common and can often be managed with over-the-counter medications, persistent symptoms such as GERD could signify a more severe problem. If left untreated, GERD can lead to more serious health issues, including inflammation of the esophagus and the development of precancerous changes in the esophagus lining.
There are several options for treating GERD, and the best approach will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause of your condition. Some common treatments for GERD include:
- Over-the-counter medications: Antacids and other medications can help to neutralize stomach acid and provide relief from heartburn and other symptoms.
- Prescription medications: If over-the-counter medications are ineffective, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), to reduce stomach acid production.
- Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet and lifestyle can help to manage GERD symptoms. This may include avoiding triggers such as spicy foods and caffeine, quitting smoking, and losing weight if necessary.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) or to remove a hiatal hernia, which can contribute to GERD.
If you are struggling to manage your GERD or other digestive issues, it’s essential to seek medical attention. At Priority Virtual Healthcare, we offer convenient online visits with our team of experienced healthcare professionals. Our virtual visits allow you to receive high-quality medical care from the comfort of your home, saving you the time and hassle of going to a physical clinic. Plus, our team is equipped to manage your care remotely, including prescription medications and referrals to specialists if needed.
Call Priority Virtual Healthcare for virtual health care in Columbus, GA today!
At Priority Virtual Healthcare, we understand the challenges of managing a chronic condition like GERD. That’s why we offer convenient online visits with our team of experienced healthcare professionals. Our virtual visits allow you to receive high-quality medical care from the comfort of your own home, saving you the time and hassle of going to a physical clinic.
We have only one caveat: If you are having chest pain with acid reflux symptoms, please go to your nearest emergency room or call 911. Chest pain cannot be treated via telemedicine. Further testing is required for your health and safety.
Don’t let GERD or other digestive issues hold you back. Schedule an online visit with Priority Virtual Healthcare today and take the first step towards feeling your best.