Valli P. Kodali, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF
Gastroenterologist located in Cary, NC
Heartburn linked to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can feel uncomfortable, even crippling in some cases. At Park Gastroenterology in Cary, North Carolina, board-certified gastroenterologist Valli Kodali, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, and his expert team offer several GERD treatments to relieve your unpleasant symptoms. Call the office today to schedule an appointment or book one online.
GERD Q & A
What is GERD?
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) causes your stomach acid to flow up into your esophagus and irritates its lining. While most people experience acid reflux now and again, GERD shows up at least twice a week and can reduce your quality of life.
What are the symptoms of GERD?
Common symptoms of GERD include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
- Food or liquid regurgitation
- Feeling a lump in your throat
- Chronic cough
- Sleep disruptions
Complications that can occur with untreated GERD include esophageal narrowing, open sores in the esophagus, precancerous changes in the esophagus, and a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.
What are the risk factors for GERD?
Conditions that raise your risk of developing GERD include:
- Hiatal hernia
- Delayed stomach emptying
- Connective tissue disorders
- Eating large meals
- Eating late at night
- Some medications
Some foods and drinks, like fatty and fried foods, alcohol, and coffee, can contribute to GERD or make your symptoms worse.
How does my doctor diagnose GERD?
Dr. Kodali diagnoses GERD after discussing your symptoms, reviewing your medical history, checking your vital signs, and completing a physical exam. He can suggest additional diagnostic tests to detect or rule out complications.
For example, Dr. Kodali might complete an upper endoscopy using a flexible, lighted tube or recommend you have esophagus probe tests and X-rays (or another imaging procedure).
What are common GERD treatments?
Common GERD treatments Dr. Kodali can recommend you try include:
Lifestyle changes you can make to reduce acid reflux include:
- Healthy weight management
- Not smoking
- Elevating your head when you sleep
- Avoiding foods and drinks that trigger heartburn
- Not lying down right after eating
Avoid wearing tight, fitted clothing too.
Over-the-counter and prescription medicines can reduce GERD symptoms and improve your quality of life.
In severe cases of GERD, or if you have symptoms that don’t go away with other GERD treatments, Dr. Kodali will recommend surgery to tighten your lower esophageal sphincter and reduce acid reflux.
If you struggle with ongoing heartburn or other GERD symptoms, call the Park Gastroenterology office today or schedule an appointment online.