Gastroesophageal reflux disease or also called acid reflux is a condition where the contents of the stomach will come back up from the stomach into the esophagus which will result in heartburn, other symptoms, and complications.
When we eat our food will pass from the mouth to the esophagus into the stomach. Preventing the food from coming back up is a ring of muscle fiber called lower esophageal sphincter or LES. When this muscles won’t close fully or does not function, the stomach contents will leak back into the esophagus, which is very uncomfortable. Also, the acid from the stomach will also cause irritation in the soft lining of the esophagus.
There are several risk factors that would increase the chance of developing GERD and it includes:
- Alcohol Abuse
- Hiatal hernia
Please note that during pregnancy, heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux can worsen and sometimes certain drugs can also increase the symptoms. Also, symptoms may or may not get worse when an individual bends over or lie down after eating and can sometimes become worst at night.
The treatment for GERD includes lifestyle change, medication and as a last resort surgery. Part of the lifestyle change is losing weight. It has been found that if obesity can cause heartburn and GERD, losing weight can greatly help in preventing this medical disorder.
You can also purchase over-the-counter antacids after meals and during bedtime. Relief is instantaneous but the side effects are diarrhea and constipation.
If you think you are suffering from GERD you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered GERD as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).