Digestive Disease Clinic, LLC
Charles A. Obioha, MD
Gastroenterologist Located in Rockville, MD
If you’re living with chronic indigestion, you may have a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD. At the Digestive Disease Clinic, LLC locations in Rockville, Silver Spring, and Bowie, Maryland, Dr. Charles Obioha offers medical and surgical procedures to reduce your symptoms and restore your health. You don’t have to put up with painful indigestion any longer. Call to make an appointment today.
GERD Q & A
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease?
GERD is a chronic, and common, gastrointestinal condition where your lower esophageal sphincter is weak or loose and allows stomach acid and partially digested food to leak up into your esophagus. Your esophageal sphincter is a small band of muscle that closes the opening between your esophagus and your stomach.
While most people experience indigestion infrequently and usually after a big meal, if you have GERD, you have acid reflux several times a week. You’ll frequently experience painful symptoms, including:
- A burning sensation in your chest that is usually worse at night or when you lie down
- Chest pain
- Dysphagia (trouble swallowing)
- Regurgitating stomach acid or food
- A chronic nighttime cough
- Disrupted sleep
- A sore throat or laryngitis
- New or worsening asthma symptoms
You should make an appointment with Dr. Obioha if you experience these symptoms more than once a week and they disrupt your regular activities.
What causes GERD?
GERD develops when your esophageal sphincter is loose or weak and food and stomach acid flow back into your esophagus. The acid irritates the tissue lining your esophagus, which causes inflammation and pain.
Many factors increase your risk of developing GERD, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a hiatal hernia
- Delayed stomach emptying
Lifestyle habits like smoking, eating large meals, or eating late at night can trigger or aggravate your symptoms. Similarly, eating fatty or fried foods or drinking large volumes of caffeinated beverages like coffee can make your symptoms worse.
How is GERD treated?
Dr. Obioha offers customized treatments to relieve your symptoms. He begins treatment by confirming your diagnosis with an upper endoscopy to check for signs of inflammation in your esophagus or signs of weakness in the esophageal sphincter.
Many patients find relief from over-the-counter antacids or medications to reduce acid production. However, when these medications aren’t effective, Dr. Obioha prescribes stronger drugs, including H2 receptor blockers, proton pump inhibitors, and medicines to strengthen your esophageal sphincter.
In rare cases, you may need a surgical procedure to support or repair your esophageal sphincter. Procedures such as fundoplication or LINX device placement are usually performed laparoscopically.
If you have frequent acid reflux symptoms, call Digestive Disease Clinic, LLC to make an appointment today to talk to Dr. Obioha about your symptoms and get the medical attention you need for relief.