Most people know it as ‘heartburn,’ but the medical term for it is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a chronic digestive disorder characterized by the backflow of stomach acids into the esophagus, which can cause irritation of the esophageal lining. Most of us have had heartburn at least once or twice in our lives. We know it as the painful, burning feeling in the throat and/or chest, and we likely even know what we’ve eaten that caused it. But if you’re someone who suffers from chronic heartburn, what you’re experiencing could be the chronic gastrointestinal disorder GERD, and the complications of this reflux can be more severe than belching or a little pain now and again. Chronic gastroesophageal reflux is a disease characterized by acid backing up through the esophagus that can lead to dry cough, hiccups, and much more severe throat and chest pain than what is experienced by occasional heartburn. GERD can lead to serious health problems such as difficulty swallowing and even food sticking. That’s why GERD treatment in Queens and around the country is so important.
During your high school and college years, pizza was your go-to food 24/7; you ate that hot and piping pizza pie when it was delivered, and ice cold the next morning. Your stomach never rebelled one iota. So …
Suddenly, that ooey-gooey crust or that tangy tomato sauce leaves you feeling like your innards are on fire. After vowing to stop patronizing that pizza joint going forward, you might think “do they make pizza differently these days … or is it me?” Well, if you really have to ask that question, perhaps it is time to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to have your GI tract checked out to ensure everything is okay. Gastroenterologists deal with all types of stomach ailments and should be able to quickly determine if your pain is caused by simple indigestion or is a symptom of a serious stomach condition.
But first, let’s delve a little into the topic of indigestion.
If you’re like most, your busy schedule has you constantly on the go. You run from work to pick up the kids from school; then you take them to ballgames or ballet class. You don’t get home until late, and tomorrow you do it all again. Most nights, you’re running from one activity to another, and all that running around leaves you very little time to prepare healthy meals, and you end up grabbing whatever you can between the chaos. But all the eating on the go can bring on that red-hot pain in your chest that most of us call heartburn, but GI doctors call ‘acid reflux.’ And the busier your schedule, the more acid reflux you get, until it becomes a routine part of life. If you find yourself getting the symptoms of acid reflux more than once a week, it may be time to see a gastroenterologist, or GI doctor.