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What is GORD?


Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition that affects the oesophagus, the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach.

When the oesophagus is irritated by gastric juices and food regurgitated from the stomach, a burning sensation (heartburn) may be felt in the chest.

GORD can also lead to difficulty swallowing and chest pain. GORD is sometimes called reflux and is sometimes confused with the stomach flu.

To understand GORD, it is important to know how the oesophagus normally works.

Food and drink pass from the mouth to the oesophagus, which passes the food into the stomach.

A valve at the bottom of the oesophagus opens when we swallow to allow food to pass through and then closes to prevent food and drink from going up the oesophagus.

GORD occurs when this valve does not close properly and food and stomach acid travel back up the oesophagus.

In this article we explain the causes, symptoms and how GORD can be diagnosed.


What Are the Symptoms Of GORD?


Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a long-term condition where stomach acid flows back into the food pipe (oesophagus).

It causes irritation and inflammation and may lead to ulcers and more serious complications.

GORD is also known as acid reflux disease or heartburn. This can cause a burning sensation in the chest, which may feel worse when lying down.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Nausea 

  • Coughing 

  • Vomiting 

  • A lump in your throat 

  • Trouble swallowing 

  • Bad breath 

  • Sleep problems 

  • Upper abdominal chest pain 

  • Inflammation of vocal cords

You may have these symptoms, on and off or several times a week.
These symptoms may last for hours or days.

If you experience severe symptoms, make sure to seek medical assistance.

gord diagnosis - Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Explained


Diagnosis of GORD


The best way to diagnose GORD is to rule out other causes of heartburn like hiatal hernia.

A doctor will ask you detailed questions about your eating habits, sleeping habits, and lifestyle and will also perform a physical exam to note any bodily signs.

Finally, the doctor will likely perform an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, which is a procedure in which a tube is inserted into the throat and down the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine.

The doctor will look for lesions, ulcers, or other abnormalities in the tissues, as well as check for signs of heartburn such as inflammation, swelling in the esophagus, and acid reflux.


Who Is Most At-Risk of Developing GORD?  


Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) is a very common condition, affecting many people worldwide. 

One of the most common questions that I am often asked is: “Who gets GORD?”

The answer to this question is that most people who develop GORD are generally over the age of 40, however it is not unusual to see patients in their 20s, 30s and even younger.

The majority of people who suffer with GORD are not overweight and the condition can affect both men and women.

GORD is not only a problem that affects the stomach and throat, but it can also cause long-term damage to the oesophagus and can even lead to complications such as oesophageal cancer. 

gord symptoms - Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Explained

What Causes GORD?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or gastric reflux is a common condition in which acid from the stomach flows back into the oesophagus (gullet).

The most common symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease are heartburn and regurgitation of acid into the mouth.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease has several causes including:

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol 

  • Eating large meals 

  • Peppermint 

  • Fried foods 

  • Coffee 

  • Smoking 

  • Obesity 

  • Pregnancy
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Spicy foods
  • Chocolate 

  • Inadequate muscle tone at the lower end of the oesophagus
  • Weak LES
  • Low stomach acid production
  • Certain diseases (e.g. diabetes, giardia)


What Damage Can GORD Cause?  


GORD, also known as “heartburn” is when the stomach acid mixes with food and causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest. If it happens frequently, it can lead to more problems such as ulcers.

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease, or simply referred to as GORD, is a disease which causes the stomach acid to reflux, or come up, into the oesophagus and mouth.

It usually occurs when there is a weakness in the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), the ring of muscle that separates the oesophagus and the stomach.

Because of this, the acid is able to come up the oesophagus and reach the mouth, causing a burning sensation.

Gastro-oesophageal disease can cause extensive damage to the lining of your oesophagus. This results in bleeding and ulcers forming on the lining, which can be very painful.

You can avoid this by rotating your beverage at meals, making sure to rinse your mouth out with water after meals, and avoiding alcohol.

Now that you know the causes and symptoms of the disease, make sure to avoid it and protect yourself from further pain.

gord foods avoid - Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Explained


How Is GORD Treated?


There is a wide range of treatments for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease, and each has pros and cons.

The most common treatment for this condition is medication. These are available in liquid, tablet, and pill form.

The downside to these medications is that some people find them ineffective or too expensive.

A good alternative treatment for this are surgery and endoscopy.

By removing the lower esophageal sphincter, the problem is fixed and it’s a permanent solution.
There are a few downsides to this treatment, however, as it is risky and may be expensive.

The most recommended treatment is the one with the least negative side effects.

Some find that they can control their symptoms with lifestyle changes, like avoiding foods that irritate the stomach or lie on their right side.

However, there are some natural remedies that may be helpful.

The most effective natural remedies include avoiding known triggers, lifestyle changes, and taking nutritional supplements.


Simple Lifestyle Changes for GORD


Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease can be caused by a number of different factors including structural abnormalities, lifestyle choices and stress.

A lot of people don’t know that through a change in diet, specifically removing things that contribute to toxins, can improve the symptoms of this disease.

Others might think that a medicine will be all they need, but this is not true. While it is important to take your medicine, self-care is equal to it.

A lot of people with this disease are able to control it through lifestyle choices, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep


  • Exercising


  • Practicing stress-relieving methods like yoga and breathing exercises.


gord explained infographic - Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Explained


Contact Dr. Schneider

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease is a dangerous condition that can quickly change a person’s life in a matter of years.

By learning about the things, you can do to prevent it, you can make sure it doesn’t affect you or your loved ones.

It’s important that everyone knows the right steps to take when it comes to preventing this disease. It’s common to have some sort of heartburn in your life.

But if you feel like you’re suffering from it a lot more, you might have more serious symptoms. If the symptoms get worse, you could be at risk for developing Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease.

Dr. Schneider is a medical professional with many years of experience in the field.  His services include endoscopy procedures such as, gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and video capsule endoscopy.

If you are concerned about your symptoms or think you might have Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease, talk to Dr. Schneider to book your appointment.

For further reading on the procedures we perform, please visit our website or contact Dr. Schneider on 011-482-3010.


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.