Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux diseaseDefinition

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as symptoms or lesions that result from the esophagus' exposure to gastric acid. Short-term reflux episodes occur in healthy subjects, but GERD becomes pathological when these episodes are abnormally frequent and long.

Epidemiological data

It is a very common condition that affects 20 at 30% of the population.

Symptoms of the disease

Gastroesophageal reflux is characterized by digestive but also extradigestive manifestations. Here are the main ones.

Typical symptoms

Atypical symptoms

Treatments

<br>• Medical treatment uses antacids, alginates, anti-H2 and proton pump inhibitors.

Surgical treatment only concerns 5 % of cases and its principle is to reconstitute the anti-reflux barrier. After reducing a possible hiatal hernia, it is necessary to build, from the large gastric tuberosity, a valve that surrounds the abdominal esophagus. This intervention makes it possible to suppress reflux in 95 % of cases.

<br>• General measures:

  • elevation of the head of the bed by at least 15 cm;
  • reduction of overweight;
  • frequent and light meals;
  • avoid a diet high in fat, but also chocolate, mint candies, alcohol, coffee, tobacco.


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