27 Sep 2022


Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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Academic level: College

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder caused by the reflex of the stomach content through the esophagus (Antunes, Curtis, Isaacs, Pennings & Gonzalez-Campoy, 2018). The disorder is classified into two main categories: erosive GERD characterized by the presence of lesions in the mucosa region and non-erosive GERD, which is mild, lacking lesions in the mucosal area. The condition is prevalent in the western world at percentages as high as 10-20% and is attributed to the lifestyle in this population (Badillo & Francis, 2014; Antunes et al., 2018). GERD is prevalent among people obese individuals and smokers (Kohata, Fujiwara, Watanabe, Kobayashi, Takemoto, Kamata & Tominaga, 2016).


GERD causes chronic symptoms such as regurgitation, heartburn, sore throat, coughs and damage to the mucosal tissue. Other complications associated include pulmonary disease, Barrett’s esophagus, erosive esophagitis, peptic stricture, and esophageal adenocarcinoma ( Antunes et al., 2018 )

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Possible Treatment Options 

Some of the medical treatments pursued against GERD include the administration of acid suppressants like antacids, proton pump inhibitors and the use of histamine-acceptor antagonists and surgical therapy (Badillo & Francis, 2014).

The Role of Diet in Mitigating and Treating Symptoms of the Disorder 

Weight gain and smoking have been cited as some of the causes of GERD. Other factors are conditional, such as pregnancy, which is not diet related. Proper management of the condition rests on the clear understanding of its causes because it is a cause and effect disorder. The removal of the causative agents, smoking and diets that result increased body weight, will enhance the process of recovery. Acidic food should also be eliminated from the diet as one subsists largely on neutral foods to reduce the consequences of regurgitation such as corrosion of the throat and burning of injured parts of the digestive system. Therefore, the management of the condition can be more effective if pursued through dieting. 


Antunes, C., Curtis, S., Isaacs, S., Pennings, N., & Gonzalez-Campoy, J. M. (2018). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease . StatPearls.

Badillo, R., & Francis, D. (2014). Diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease.  World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 5 (3), 105.

Kohata, Y., Fujiwara, Y., Watanabe, T., Kobayashi, M., Takemoto, Y., Kamata, N. & Tominaga, K. (2016). Long-term benefits of smoking cessation on gastroesophageal reflux disease and health-related quality of life.  PloS One,  11(2), e0147860.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment.


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