Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common, chronic digestive condition that causes heartburn and indigestion. At Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., with offices in Centreville, Sterling, and Chantilly, Virginia, the team of expert gastroenterologists, including Lance Lasner, MD, and Nisha Chand, MD, provide comprehensive care for GERD to manage symptoms and reduce risk of complications. Schedule your GERD appointment by calling the office nearest you, or booking online today.
GERD is a digestive condition that occurs when the contents of your stomach flow up into your esophagus. It happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve between the esophagus and stomach, fails to properly close.
There are many factors that may affect the function of the LES that leads to GERD. For example, excess pressure in the abdomen may prevent the LES from properly closing.
Pregnant women and people who struggle with their weight are more likely to experience this type of pressure and are at greater risk of having GERD. Smoking also affects the function of the LES and is a risk factor for GERD.
Heartburn and acid regurgitation are the most common symptoms of GERD. Other symptoms you might have include:
It’s normal to have heartburn every once in a while. However, if you have heartburn or any of these other symptoms two or more times a week then you may have GERD.
GERD is a chronic condition that can damage the delicate tissue in your esophagus if left untreated.
When you visit Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., for a GERD evaluation you can expect a comprehensive and patient-focused exam. The team asks detailed questions about your symptoms, usual diet, lifestyle habits, and medical history.
They perform a physical exam and recommend an upper endoscopy to evaluate your esophagus and stomach to look for signs of damage, such as inflammation (esophagitis).
GERD is a common cause of Barrett’s esophagus, which is a condition that changes the cells that line the esophagus. Though rare, Barrett’s esophagus can lead to esophageal cancer.
The Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. team customizes your GERD treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms.
Initial treatment focuses on lifestyle changes such as eating smaller meals, avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, and not eating too close to bedtime. Losing weight may also ease your GERD symptoms.
When lifestyle changes fail to relieve your GERD, the team may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication that lowers stomach acid production or improves LES function.
The team may recommend routine endoscopy procedures to monitor your esophagus and signs of esophageal cancer.
For personalized care for your GERD, call Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., or schedule an appointment online today.