Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
What is Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a condition caused by stomach acids spilling back up into the oesophagus. It is commonly referred to as “reflux”, GORD or heartburn. Sometimes patients will call it “indigestion”. Symptoms of GORD can be variable, but typically can include a burning sensation behind the chest, regurgitation (food or fluid spilling up into the mouth), waterbrash (bitter or sour taste in the mouth) or even cough.
GORD can be aggravated by a variety of factors including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, carbonated drinks, chocolate, fatty meals or even peppermint. Weight excess and obesity are also common contributory factors.
Most people will experience symptoms of GORD through their life, but not all necessarily require further investigations. However, should symptoms be persistent or problematic, or should you have concerning problems such as difficulty swallowing, pain on swallowing, weight loss, vomiting or troublesome symptoms despite reflux medications, then Specialist input is recommended.
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (also referred to as “gastroscopy”) is a common procedure to evaluate GORD, allowing the specialist to determine if there is significant damage from acid reflux and to exclude any concerning problems. GORD can usually be treated with a combination of lifestyle modifications and medications to reduce stomach acid production. In severe cases of GORD that are unresponsive to usual management strategies, surgical strategies can be explored.
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