Ever felt a weird taste at the back of your mouth or heartburn especially after a meal? Well, these signs might indicate a stomach disease, GORD. GORD is a condition permanent for few and temporary for some when the acid from your stomach travels to your Oesophagus. If you remember your science lesson on the digestive system in middle school, you would identify Oesophagus as the muscular tube that connects your mouth with your stomach. It is often referred to as the food pipe or the gullet (Greek word for oesophagus) and works as a passageway for food to pass from the mouth to the upper part of the stomach.
Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)
In GORD, the person suffering, experiences heartburn as acids from the stomach travel to the food pipe irritating its surface. This is mostly mistaken as a heart attack in severe cases of GORD. If you experience shortening of breath along with pain in the jaw or your left arm, it is important to seek immediate medical help as it can clearly be a heart attack. Apart from chest pain, few other symptoms of GORD are:
- Regurgitation – It is the action of undigested food or the acids of the stomach traveling up to the mouth creating an unpleasant or bad taste in the mouth.
- Swallowing Difficulty – One might feel something restricting the passage of food being blocked around the throat. I make swallowing of solids like bread or meat painful, causing the person to vomit in a few cases.
- Feeling of Being Sick – One might feel the urge of throwing up or uneasiness and sometimes restlessness and loss of energy.
- Bad Breath – Due to acids or undigested food following up through the food pipe, the unpleasant taste can be followed up by bad breath.
- Throat Pain – Inflammation in the throat and hoarse voice with constant cough can be part of the systems that cause throat pain as well. Asthmatic patients might feel worsening of asthma symptoms.
- Bloating – Bloating of stomach or burping can also be identified as signs of GORD.
GORD can be treated by a few lifestyle changes. You can also prevent it by following simple instructions to make easier for your body to function properly.
- Maintaining Body Weight – Regular exercise and avoiding junk food are easy steps to keep a check on your weight. Apart from being a preventive measure, it can also make you feel lighter, more efficient and reduce the risks of many diseases.
- Keeping a Check on What you Eat and When you Eat – Small meals at regular intervals can avoid the void that causes the gases or the acids of the stomach to crawl up. Identifying food and drinks that cause conditions like GORD can help you chose your meal intelligently and avoid future illness.
- Over the Counter Medicines – Antacids and medicines containing salts of alginic acids can bring instant relief in pain and other symptoms of GORD.
- Medical Procedures and High Dosage Medicines – If the symptoms of GORD are still visible even proper care and eating right or show upon constant intervals, it is important to consult a doctor. Doctors might advise high dosage medicines, long term medication or even surgery if all other things are not working.
Mostly GORD can be treated at home but sometimes leaking of stomach acids in the oesophagus can lead to serious conditions. The damage caused can fuel up or can cause other diseases like:
- Ulcers in Food Pipe – It causes pain and bleeding in swallowing food.
- Oesophagus scarring – Due to the acid, the food pipe can become narrow which makes eating food difficult and might require an operation to be corrected.
- Barrett’s oesophagus – Changes in the inner lining of the oesophagus makes it prone to cancer as well.
Blood in vomit, constant weight reduction or symptoms prevailing even after medication is alarming conditions that require medical help. Even asthmatic patients and patients over the age of 55 are required to keep a constant check on GORD symptoms and consult a doctor without hesitation.
It is important to make your lifestyle as healthy as possible for good health and long life. It is also important in the process to identify body changes that should be reflected in your lifestyle as well. Exercise is one of the key things that should be part of your daily routine. It helps to maintain body weight and overall working making your immune system strong and making you less prone to diseases.