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5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

Dr. Schneider has specialized medical training and significant experience with diseases affecting the stomach, intestines, oesophagus, liver, pancreas, colon and rectum.

Patients are usually referred to a gastroenterologist by a primary care doctor after examination or health discussions.

Gastroenterologists have the tools and expertise to diagnose and treat your conditions correctly.

Often, seeing a gastroenterologist leads to more accurate detection of polyps and cancer, fewer complications from procedures and less time spent in the hospital.

If you’ve never seen a gastroenterologist before but are struggling with digestive issues, you might wonder when it’s time to see a GI doctor.

We’ve created a list of the top 5 reasons to see a gastroenterologist in Johannesburg to help educate patients on the most common symptoms and help lessen any fear towards seeing a GI doctor.

 

heartburn - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

1. Heartburn

 

While heartburn is fairly common amongst adults, consistent heartburn more than twice a week could be a sign of a more serious issue like acid reflux, or GERD.

Reflux is a burning sensation felt behind the chest that occurs when stomach contents irritate the normal lining of the oesophagus.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know when your heartburn symptoms are severe enough that you need to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist, and we understand that.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

  • Symptoms that continue for more than twice a week
  • Heartburn that persists after taking over-the-counter medications
  • Heartburn episodes that change in frequency or intensity
  • Acid reflux that interferes with your daily activities or affects your quality of life
  • Heartburn accompanied by nausea or vomiting

 

gallstones - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

2. Gallstones

 

Gallstones are small, hard nuggets or pellets that form in the gallbladder.

A gallstone can be as tiny as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball.

Pain from gallstones almost always passes once they move.

Gallstones also may form if the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough.

People who are obese, have a family history of gallstones, and over the age of 40 (especially women), have increased risk of developing gallstones.

Obesity increases the amount of cholesterol in bile, which can cause stone formation.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

  • Upper-right quadrant pain that does not go away within 4-5 hours
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Low-grade fever
  • Yellowish colour of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Clay-coloured stools

 

 

IBD - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) describes a cluster of disorders in which the intestines become inflamed.

The small and large intestines become irritated and swollen, causing a bunch of complications like belly pain, rectal bleeding, and diarrhoea.

Symptoms may ease up but then returns during a flare.

IBD is often confused with a similar condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but the two conditions are different.

IBD is a more serious condition, which may lead to a number of complications including damage to the bowel and malnutrition.

IBD tends to be hereditary, although not everyone with IBD has a family history of the disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease can happen at any age but is mostly diagnosed in teens and young adults.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

See your doctor if you experience a persistent change in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Although inflammatory bowel disease usually isn’t dangerous, it’s a serious disease that, in some cases, may cause life-threatening complications.

 

 

Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Schneider

 

colon cancer screening - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

4. Colon Cancer Screening

 

After a certain age, older adults should make a habit of screening for cancer that could affect your digestive tract.

This means screenings for colorectal cancer, intestinal cancer, and beyond.

The good news is that colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

Colorectal cancer can be prevented, not just detected, through colonoscopy.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

Gastroenterologists recommend that all people who are physically healthy start screening for colon cancer at age 50.

If you are pregnant, overweight or live an unhealthy lifestyle, we recommend screening before age 50.

You are recommended to get screened for colon cancer even if you do not have a family history of cancer and have not had any symptoms.

Colonoscopy is recommended at least once every 10 years.

More information on Colon Cancer can be found here.

 

constipation - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

5. Constipation

 

Constipation is infrequent bowel movements (less than three a week) or difficulty in passing stools.

Constipation symptoms include hard stools and feeling like your bowel hasn’t completely emptied.

If you are affected by constipation, it could mean a serious digestive issue is causing it.

The good news is that constipation is not a disease, but a condition.

Constipation can affect anyone, regardless of age.

However, its most common amongst older people, people who are dehydrated, or have diets that are low in fibre.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

When you have constipation that won’t go away for 3 weeks or more, it’s time to see a doctor or gastroenterologist for help.

This is by no means a definitive list – there are numerous conditions that can cause abdominal or abnormalities with the gut and stomach.

 

Preparing for Your Appointment

 

Because appointments can be brief, and because there’s often a lot of information to cover, it’s a good idea to be well-prepared.

Here’s some information to help you get ready.

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there’s anything you need to do in advance, such as following a certain diet, etc.
  • Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, supplements or herbal medications you’re taking.
  • If you think you might be scared of your check-up results and think you might need support, we recommend taking a close relative of yours with you to see your doctors such as a family member or close friend.
What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

Dr Schneider is a highly qualified Gastroenterologist who specialises in Endoscopy, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other stomach problems at Milpark Hospital, Parktown, Johannesburg.

GIDOCJHB provides a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures. These include gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and ERCP.

Dr Schneider has a special interest in capsule endoscopy and in the management of patients with gastrointestinal tumours.

We are dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare along with informed health advice and treatment.

what is video capsule endoscopy - What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

A capsule endoscopy (also referred to as a video capsule endoscopy) looks at the inside of your oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine.

Your gastroenterologist will give you a pill-sized capsule for you to swallow, which has wireless video camera functionality. 

As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist.

These pictures are sent to a small recording device you have to wear on your body.

Your gastroenterologist will be able to view these pictures at a later time and will be able to provide you with useful information regarding your small intestine.

 

why its done - What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

 

Why is Capsule Endoscopy Done?


Capsule endoscopy is used to examine the small intestine that cannot be seen with other types of endoscopy or colonoscopy.

The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a bleeding cause from the small intestine and for suspected or confirmed Crohn’s disease .

It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, and tumours of the small intestine.

Your doctor might recommend a capsule endoscopy procedure to: 

  • Diagnose unexplained abdominal pain
  • Find the cause of GI bleeding
  • Screen for tumours, polyps, or ulcers
  • Diagnose Celiac Disease
  • Diagnosing Crohn’s disease
  • Do follow-up testing after X-rays or other imaging tests
  • Diagnose certain cancers

Unlike endoscopy or colonoscopy, which can be used to remove polyps (polypectomy), capsule endoscopy can only be used for visual diagnoses, not treatment.

 

Schedule an Appointment With Dr Schneider

What to Expect Before the Procedure?

You will receive preparation instructions before the examination from your gastroenterologist.

To keep the medication from interfering with the camera, your doctor might ask you not to take certain medications before the procedure.

Discuss any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as swallowing disorders and heart or lung disease.

Tell your doctor of any previous abdominal surgery, or previous history of bowel obstructions in the bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, or adhesions.

Timing

The capsule endoscopy test is always scheduled for early in the morning.

To help the camera capture clear images of your digestive tract, you’ll be asked to fast for at least 12 hours before the procedure.

In some cases, your doctor may ask you to take a laxative before your capsule endoscopy to flush out your small intestine.

This has been shown to improve the quality of the pictures collected by the capsule’s camera.

Location

Capsule endoscopy is more always performed at a gastroenterologists office, a gastroenterology procedure unit of a hospital, or an accredited endoscopy centre available in some cities.

What to Wear

To reduce sweat and make the test easier, we recommend wearing a light cotton T-shirt.

Your outfit should be one you won’t need to change out of for at least eight hours, as the equipment must remain in place until the test is over.

 

What to Expect During the Procedure?

Capsule endoscopy is a relatively straightforward procedure and most patients consider the test comfortable.

A sensor belt will be strapped around your waist over your shirt. 

Once all the equipment is in place and checked out, you will swallow the camera capsule with water. A slippery coating makes it easier to swallow.

You are then free to leave, drive, and even return to work if appropriate.

You must avoid physical activity and follow specific dietary guidelines throughout the day.

 

What to Expect After the Procedure?

Wait two hours after you swallow the capsule to resume drinking any liquids. After four to five hours, you can have a light lunch or a snack recommended by your gastroenterologist.

The capsule endoscopy procedure is complete after eight hours or when you see the camera capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement, whichever comes first.

It may take some people hours or days to evacuate the capsule, but most people pass it in 24 to 72 hours.

If you are unable to spot the pill-cam in your stools after two weeks, call your doctor. An X-ray may be needed to see if the device is stuck somewhere in your digestive tract.

 

Getting Your Results

It may take a few days or up to 2 weeks for the medical team to look at all the pictures. They send the results to the gastroenterologist who arranged the test.

If you have not heard about the result within a couple of weeks after your test, contact your gastroenterologist.

 

Interpreting the Results

The final report will contain a list of normal and abnormal findings.

It will also include details about bowel preparation, the quality of bowel preparation, the extent and completeness of the exam, relevant findings and other important information.

 

A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy

A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy

Dr. Schneider provides rapid assessment, intervention and treatment for numerous common and complex stomach conditions.

Whether you are an inpatient or an outpatient, you will be cared for by Dr Schneider and his team of professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best possible treatment and advice.

All GiDoc clinical staff are highly qualified within their field and undergo regular, extensive training. This ensures the highest standards of care, aiding patients with a faster recovery.

When patients come to our gastroenterology practice, we aim to see them as quickly as possible, and make a diagnosis using the most appropriate and effective tests.

In this post, we’ll discuss Gastroscopy.

what is gastroscopy - A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy 

What is a Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is an examination where a Gastroenterologist passes a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope through your mouth and into your esophagus, stomach and small intestine (bowel).

This tube has a light and a camera at the end which takes pictures of what is seen and feeds the images into a monitor allowing the Gastroenterologist to examine the lining and check for any abnormalities such as inflammation or ulcers.

More information can be found here.

 

Why is a Gastroscopy Needed?

Your gastroscopy findings will help your doctor decide on which treatment is best to help you or whether further examinations are needed to be carried out.

A gastroscopy may be recommended if you have symptoms that suggest a problem with the stomach.

This could be difficulty swallowing or unexplained weight loss. The procedure can help to diagnose the underlying cause of these symptoms.

Other reasons may include:

  • Investigate problems such as difficulty swallowing, indigestions, abnormal bleeding, low levels of iron, anemia, vomiting, unintentional weight loss and heartburn
  • Diagnose conditions or find out the cause of symptoms such as stomach ulcers or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), nausea and vomiting
  • To screen for and prevent stomach cancer
  • To remove foreign objects
  • Treat conditions such as bleeding ulcers, a blockage in the oesophagus, non-cancerous growths (polyps) or small cancerous tumours.

 

Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Schneider

before gastroscopy - A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy


During a Gastroscopy

A gastroscopy examination often takes less than 20 minutes, although it may take longer if it’s being used to treat a condition.

It’s almost always carried out as an outpatient procedure, which means you won’t have to spend the night in hospital.

Your nurse or Gastroenterologist will then explain the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form. This is a good time to ask any questions you might have.

Before the procedure, your throat will be numbed with a local anaesthetic spray.

Usually, you’re awake when you have the test, but you can choose to have sedative medicine to relax and make you drowsy.

The procedure shouldn’t be painful, but it may be unpleasant or uncomfortable at times.

Some endoscopy units may ask you to change into a hospital gown, but you can usually have the test in your own clothes if you prefer.

A small plastic mouth guard will be placed gently between your teeth to help you keep your mouth slightly open and make it easier for your doctor to pass the endoscope (camera).

Your Gastroenterologist will start by gently inserting the gastroscope through your mouth and into the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.

Using the video images, your doctor can examine your food pipe and stomach lining to look for redness or inflammations. If necessary, a tissue sample will be taken.

When the examination is finished, the gastroscope will be removed carefully.

 

after endoscopy - A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy

After a Gastroscopy

Your nurse or Gastroenterologist will talk to you about how the test went, if they took any biopsies and when to expect the results.

You might have some bloating and discomfort lasting a few hours after the gastroscopy.

Because of the sedative given to you before the procedure, it may also affect your memory for a few hours afterwards and you may still be feeling drowsy.

For this reason, a relative or friend should come with you and drive you home if possible.

After the sedative you should not:

  • drive a car for 24 hours
  • drink alcohol for at least 24 hours
  • operate machinery for 24 hours
  • sign any important documents until the next day
  • undertake any other activities likely to place you at risk.

Although the doctor may briefly run through the findings of the gastroscopy with you once the sedative has worn off, a follow-up appointment is usually made to discuss the test results in more detail.

What are the Possible Risks or Complications of a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy is generally a very safe procedure, but like all medical procedures it does carry a risk of complications.

Possible complications can include a sore throat or a numb feeling in your mouth which is caused by the anaesthetic spray.

Complications like bleeding and injury to organs are very rare. The gastroscope may cause minimal damage to your teeth when it is put into your mouth.

Only in very rare cases do sedatives lead to complications such as breathing problems or cardiovascular problems.

Occasionally, sedation can cause problems with your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

The risks are higher in older people and those with lung or heart problems. Your nurse closely watches you for any problems during the test, so they can treat it quickly.

Getting Your Results

You should get your results within 2 weeks. The results are sent to you and your gastroenterologist or you may get them at a follow up appointment.

However, if a biopsy sample was removed, this might take up to six to eight weeks.

Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

 At GI DOC JHB, we work one-on-one with each patient to help them find the right type of treatment for their individual needs.

For example, when a patient comes in with stomach ulcers, we provide the patient with a consistent, compassionate, personalized approach and care that acknowledges and understands both the physical and emotional impact this medical condition can have on people.

Dr Schneider operates with a flexible schedule, including immediate appointments for some services and direct access scheduling of screening colonoscopies for appropriate patients.

 

stomach ulcer - Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

  

What are Stomach Ulcers?

Stomach ulcers are open sores in the lining of the stomach. Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced.

This allows the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer.

Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcers are any ulcers that affect both the stomach and small intestines.

In this article, the term stomach ulcer will be used, although the information applies equally to peptic ulcers.

 

Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers

A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The gravity of the symptoms depend on the severity of the ulcer.

The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain felt in the stomach. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty.

For some people, it might last a few minutes or hours, but for others, it can last for several days or weeks.

Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:

  • indigestion (heartburn)
  • weight loss
  • not wanting to eat because of pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling full and bloated
  • burping or acid reflux
  • stomach feels sensitive to fatty foods
  • anaemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
  • dark stools
  • vomiting blood 

Talk to a gastroenterologist if you have any symptoms of stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they aren’t treated. 

 

stomach ulcers - Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

 

Who is More Likely to Get Ulcers?

You may be more likely to develop an ulcer if you:

  • Are infected with the H. pylori bacterium (bacterial infection is the primary cause of peptic ulcers.)
  • Take NSAIDs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen)
  • Have a family history of ulcers
  • Smoke
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Psychological stress
  • Elderly

When Should You See a Gastroenterologist?

If you think you have a stomach ulcer, call your gastroenterologist. Together you can discuss your symptoms and treatment options.

Seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • vomiting blood
  • passing dark stools
  • trouble breathing
  • a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that doesn’t go away

These could be a sign of a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.

 

Schedule a Meeting With Dr Schneider

Treatment for Stomach Ulcers

If you suspect you have or are diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, your treatment will largely depend on the causes of the ulcer.

With correct treatment, most ulcers heal in a few months. For example, If your stomach ulcer is caused by a bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics and a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is recommended.

Common treatment options can include home remedies or more progressive forms of treatment, like surgery. Here is a list of treatment and prevention remedies:

  • Over the counter medication – including antibiotics, to destroy the bacteria, and drugs to help speed the healing process
  • Consider switching pain relievers. If you use pain relievers regularly, ask your doctor whether there might be a better alternative for you such as Tylenol
  • Limit or avoid alcohol completely. Excessive use of alcohol can cause inflammation and bleeding.
  • Controlling your stress levels. Stress may worsen the signs and symptoms of a peptic ulcer. Consider the sources of your stress and do what you can to manage or reduce the causes.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking may interfere with the protective lining of the stomach, making your stomach more prone to the development of an ulcer. Smoking also increases the acid build up in your stomach.
  • Try to get enough sleep. Sleep can help your immune system heal, and therefore counter stress. Also, avoid eating four hours before bedtime.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine
  • reducing acid – tablets are available to reduce the acid content in the gastric juices
  • lifestyle modifications – joining a gym, sports team or participating in other forms of physical exercise.

In more serious cases, surgery may be required.

Surgery can include:

  • removing the ulcer
  • tying off bleeding blood vessels
  • sewing tissue from another site onto the ulcer
  • cutting the nerve that controls stomach acid production

 

stomach ulcers treatment - Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

 

Follow-Up After Initial Treatment

Treatment for peptic ulcers is often successful if all popular treatment options have been explored, leading to ulcer healing.

However, if your symptoms are rare or more severe or if they continue despite different treatment options, your gastroenterologist may recommend endoscopy to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms.

We recommend asking your doctor whether you should undergo follow-up tests after your treatment.

If an ulcer is detected during endoscopy, your gastroenterologist may recommend another endoscopy after your treatment to make sure your ulcer has fully healed.

 

GORD Treatment: What is GORD and How to Treat it?

GORD Treatment: What is GORD and How to Treat it?

Our gastroenterology practice in Johannesburg is committed to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all types of digestive diseases including acid reflux, heartburn and irritable bowel disease, as well as other chronic diseases like Crohn’s disease and stomach cancer.

We are a friendly and caring gastroenterology private practice, treating patients in Johannesburg. We are dedicated to providing an outstanding quality of care and personal service.

What is GORD?

 

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition mostly experienced by adults, where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus.

Reflux of the contents of the stomach into the oesophagus is a normal event that occurs in many people after eating.

When gastric reflux causes a person to have persistent symptoms such as two or more times weekly, they are said to have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

In patients who suffer from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, there is an anomaly in the sphincter muscle that separates the oesophagus and the stomach.

Ideally, the muscle is very strong and opens only to let food pass from the oesophagus into the stomach and closes to keep the food from moving back up.

When the muscle is weakened, it becomes unable to keep the stomach content from moving back up into the oesophagus. When the content of the stomach moves into the oesophagus, it can cause discomfort.

Since the stomach content is mostly acidic, it creates the burning feeling that we commonly refer to as heartburn.

The oesophagus of every adult human has a certain condition that is ideal for it. It is not used to acids and can never get used to them.

When acidic contents from the stomach keep creeping into the oesophagus, the pipe-like organ can get inflamed and this can result in a condition known as Esophagitis.

This condition, in turn, can transform into what is termed Barret’s oesophagus, which is a precancerous condition.

 

What are the Risk Factors or Causes of GORD?

 

One of the main risk factors for GORD is being overweight or obese. This is thought to be due to extra pressure being put on the lower oesophageal sphincter by the stomach, which weakens the muscles.

Other risk factors include:

  • Eating large amounts of fatty foods
  • Smoking
  • Excessive coffee consumption
  • Acidic fruits and vegetables, like citrus or tomatoes
  • Stress
  • Spicy foods
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol

More information on what causes GORD can be found here. 

gerd symptoms - GORD Treatment: What is GORD and How to Treat it?

What are the Symptoms of GORD?

GORD may just be an occasional stumbling block for some people. But for others, GORD can be more severe and life-threatening.

Common symptoms include:

  • heartburn
  • acid reflux (an acid or sour taste in the mouth)
  • Oesophagitis (a sore, inflamed oesophagus)
  • bad breath
  • bloating and belching
  • indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • feeling or being sick
  • pain when swallowing and/or difficulty swallowing
  • a sore throat and hoarseness
  • asthma symptoms of cough and wheeze
  • a persistent cough, usually at night
  • tooth decay

 

When to See a Gastroenterologist

 

Visit your gastroenterologist if you’re worried about your symptoms, or if:

  • you have symptoms more than twice a week
  • over-the-counter medications aren’t helping you
  • your symptoms are severe
  • you have difficulty swallowing.

 

Schedule a Meeting With Dr. Schneider

 

How is GORD Diagnosed?

 

If you suspect you have GORD, consult your gastroenterologist who will ask you about your symptoms and medical history.

A diagnosis of GORD is highly likely if persistent heartburn is your primary complaint.

GORD Diagnosis tests may include:

  • Endoscopy 

Endoscopy involves having an endoscope passed through your mouth down into your stomach to examine the lining of your digestive tract.

 

  • pH Monitoring

pH monitoring involves using an acid monitor (a thin tube with a sensor at one end) to measure acidity levels in your oesophagus.

  • X-ray

X-ray of your upper digestive system.

 

What are the Treatments Available?

 

It is important to begin treating GORD as soon as possible after you’ve been diagnosed. If untreated, acid reflux will continue to damage the oesophagus and create other problems later on.

Treatment is aimed at decreasing the degree of reflux and reducing damage to the oesophagus lining.

With appropriate treatment, the prognosis for patients with GORD is very good, as symptoms almost invariably resolve.

However, relapses are common if therapy is stopped. A small number of people with GORD do not respond to medication and need surgery to treat their symptoms.

acid reflux diet1 1024x829 - GORD Treatment: What is GORD and How to Treat it?

Eating & Lifestyle Changes

The type of food we eat significantly affect the amount of acids that find their way into the oesophagus.

Generally, fatty foods are known to contribute more to acid reflux. High fibre foods, on the other hand, have been found to be helpful. The link between high fat intake and GERD is understandable.

Fatty contents have direct effect on the sphincter. It causes the ring of muscles to relax and when this happens, more contents from the stomach (always acidic) creep up into the oesophagus.

Here are some lifestyle changes that can help manage the condition.

  • Keep active by participating in sports or gym
  • Watch what you eat and how much you eat
  • Eat a low-fat diet
  • Avoid foods that trigger your heartburn
  • Stop smoking and drinking
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Don’t eat close to bedtime

 

Medication

If lifestyle changes alone fail to control symptoms, you may need to take proper medication. Your gastroenterologist may prescribe a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

This helps block stomach acid production and help to heal the oesophagus. Alternatively, your gastroenterologist may also prescribe over the counter Antacids.

Antacids neutralize stomach acids and provide rapid relief of symptoms especially in those with mild disease.

Antacids usually come as liquid suspensions or tablets.

More information on Antacids and medications can be found here.

Surgery

Surgery to stop stomach acid leaking into your oesophagus may be recommended if your symptoms are not controlled by medication.

In such circumstances, you will usually discuss the treatment options with a specialist to agree the best option for you.

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

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gidoc jhb logo - GORD Treatment: What is GORD and How to Treat it?

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© Dr. H Schneider, Registered Gastroenterologist, GI Doc Johannesburg

Our website information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.