GORD/GERD (Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease)
GORD or GERD is a chronic health condition experienced by up to 20% of New Zealanders, in which stomach acid or bile flows into the oesophagus and irritates the lining.
Gord is a common medical condition in which people experience regurgitation of the stomach contents into the oesophagus, which causes heartburn and or reflux. It occurs more commonly in people who smoke, drink heavily, are pregnant or overweight, or are between 35 and 64 years.
What is GORD?
People with GORD often experience GORD symptoms after a meals. A diagnosis of GORD generally occurs when you have moderate to severe symptoms of heartburn and reflux consistently two or more times a week.
Symptoms of GORD
- Acid reflux
- Difficulty eating and swallowing hard or solid foods
- Abdominal or lower chest pain
- Tooth decay or Gum Disease
Causes of GORD
The dysfunction of the lower oesophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus, is the most common reason for GORD. Its function is to keep food from regurgitating up the oesophagus. When it becomes weakened, it does not close properly. This allows stomach acid to leak up into the oesophagus, which irritates the lining and causes the symptoms of GORD.
Other causes of GORD include Hiatus hernia, Helicobacter Pylori infection and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
How is GORD Diagnosed?
A physical examination and a medical history of your symptoms and health will help your primary care physician or a gastrointestinal specialist diagnose GORD. An endoscopy (gastroscopy) or camera imaging of the oesophagus is required for a definitive diagnosis and to check for complications of GORD.
Helicobacter Pylori can be identified with a stool test.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth can be diagnosed with a breath test.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease
Can GORD be cured?
Yes, most acid reflux cases have effective treatment options available. When dealing with this diagnosis and any correlating risk, Rosanne will focus on both symptoms and underlying causes.
What are Oesophageal Ulcers?
Excess acid in the oesophagus can damage its lining and lead to oesophagitis (inflammation) and possibly oesophageal ulcers. These ulcers may leak, causing pain and making swallowing difficult, and leaving a sour taste. Oesophageal ulcers are addressed in the same way as GORD.