GI Endoscopy Practice
Bharat Dasani, MD
Gastroenterologist located in Riverdale, NJ & Parsippany, NJ
It’s not unusual to experience heartburn after eating a little more than usual. However, if your heartburn is regular, you may have a chronic condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Without proper treatment, GERD may lead to more serious health complications. Experienced gastroenterologist Bharat Dasani, MD, and the team at GI Endoscopy Practice specialize in diagnosing and treating GERD. To schedule an evaluation, call the office in Riverdale or Parsippany, New Jersey, or book online today.
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD?
GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux. Your stomach and esophagus are separated by a strong muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When you swallow food, this muscle relaxes to allow the food to pass into your stomach.
Your stomach is filled with highly acidic gastric juices that help break down the food into a liquid. You may experience acid reflux — regurgitation of the contents of your stomach into your esophagus — if your LES relaxes or weakens when it shouldn’t.
Though occasional acid reflux isn’t a major concern, if you experience acid reflux or heartburn more than twice a week, then you have GERD.
What are GERD symptoms?
Heartburn is the most common GERD symptom. Your GERD may also cause:
- Bad breath
- Chest pain
- Upper respiratory problems
- Difficulty sleeping
When left untreated, the acid from your stomach may damage your delicate esophageal tissue and increase your risk of developing esophageal strictures, Barrett’s esophagus, or esophageal cancer.
Is peptic ulcer disease the same thing as GERD?
Peptic ulcer disease and GERD aren’t the same. Peptic ulcer disease causes ulcerations in the lining of your stomach or duodenum, the upper portion of your small intestine.
You may develop peptic ulcer disease if it runs in your family, you smoke, or you take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
An H. pylori infection, which is a type of bacteria, can also cause ulcerations.
What can I expect during a GERD consultation?
You can expect a comprehensive evaluation when you come in to see the team at GI Endoscopy Practice for treatment of your GERD or peptic ulcer disease.
During your consultation, the team asks detailed questions about your symptoms and medical and family history, then performs a physical exam.
To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, Dr. Dasani may request you undergo an endoscopy.
How is GERD treated?
The team at GI Endoscopy Practice develops personalized treatment plans for GERD based on the severity of your symptoms. Your treatment plan may include:
- Diet modification
- Weight loss
- H2 blockers to decrease stomach acid production
- Proton-pump inhibitors to decrease stomach acid production
- Prokinetic medication to speed up digestion
The team schedules regular follow-up visits to monitor your symptoms and upper gastrointestinal tract and adjusts your treatment plan as needed. If conservative measures fail to improve your acid reflux, Dr. Dasani may suggest surgical intervention.
For expert care of your GERD or peptic ulcer disease, call GI Endoscopy Practice or book an appointment online today.