GERD Awareness Week is November 20-26.
GERD is an acronym for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It is a very common disease where the stomach content flow back into the esophagus causing irritating and painful symptoms and possibly damaging the esophagus. This week and all others, CompassionCare Hospice wants you to be an advocate for a positive change. It is a very treatable disease, but you must understand it to treat it.
Gerd is a chronic disease in which there are many drugs to alleviate symptoms. Lifestyle changes can also help manage the symptoms. Stress can make reflux worse. Sleeping on your left side may help reduce to amount of reflux as well. There is no one cause for this disease. The most common symptom is heartburn. You may want to consult your doctor if:
• Your heartburn happens 2 or more times a week.
• Your heartburn gets worse.
• Your heartburn wakes you from your sleep.
• You have had heartburn now and then for several years.
• Your discomfort interferes with daily activities.
There are many more less common symptoms like difficulty or pain when swallowing, feeling of food sticking to the esophagus, hoarseness, chronic sore throat, wheezing, and chronic cough. GERD affects 1 in 5 adults in the United States alone.