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Understanding Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) 

What is GORD? GORD, known as GERD in the US, stands for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease. This condition involves frequent acid reflux, which is the backward flow of stomach acids into the oesophagus. This causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat and is commonly referred to as heartburn or acid reflux. 

Symptoms of GORD 

  • Frequent Heartburn: A burning feeling in the chest or throat, not just occasionally but at least twice a week. 
  • Regurgitation and Dyspepsia: Experiencing a sour or bitter taste due to acid backing up into your throat or mouth. 
  • Other Symptoms: Excessive burping, a change in voice, sore throat, and potentially coughing at night or early morning. 

Potential Complications if Untreated If not managed properly, GORD can lead to more severe health issues such as: 

  • Oesophageal Ulcers: These are sores in the lining of the oesophagus caused by acid damage, which can bleed and make swallowing painful. 
  • Oesophageal Stricture: Scarring from acid can lead to a narrowing of the oesophagus, which may require surgical intervention to correct. 

Causes of GORD 

  • Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LOS) Issues: The valve that keeps stomach contents out of the oesophagus may function poorly, relax abnormally or weaken, allowing acid to escape into the oesophagus. 
  • Hiatus Hernia: A condition where the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm, affecting LOS function. 
  • Lifestyle Factors: Being overweight, eating fatty foods, consuming relaxants like alcohol or tobacco, and certain medical conditions can exacerbate GORD. 

Managing and Treating GORD Management strategies typically include lifestyle modifications and possibly medications: 

  • Lifestyle Changes: These can include losing weight, eating smaller meals, reducing fatty food intake, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and elevating the head during sleep. 
  • Medications: Over-the-counter antacids, H2 antagonists, and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) can reduce stomach acid and provide relief. However, their long-term use should be managed by a healthcare professional to avoid potential side effects. 

When to Seek Medical Advice Regular reflux more than twice a week may indicate GORD. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to confirm a diagnosis and discuss the most effective treatment plan. 

GORD Awareness Week Note that GORD Awareness Week was observed from November 17-23, 2020, aimed at increasing public knowledge about this common condition. 

Advertisement Compliance Reminder This content is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

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