Gastroesophageal Reflux Case Study

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Introduction Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), more commonly known as “acid reflux”, is a condition that affects people of all ages from infancy to adulthood (1, 2). With this condition, the contents of the stomach are brought back up the esophagus and can lead to a variety of symptoms and discomfort that can be mild to severe (1). It is also something that everyone has experienced to some degree. Anytime someone burps, has an acid taste in their mouth, or heartburn, he or she is experiencing symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. There is no reason to be concerned unless these symptoms begin happening more frequently, as often as daily (2). In this case, there are several treatment options to help resolve symptoms. …show more content…
This muscle is what prevents the contents of the stomach from moving back up the esophagus and if it does not function properly, the acid can move back up and cause symptoms (1). Fig 1: The photo shows a diagram of the esophagus and stomach containing food and acid and the muscle that prevents the stomach contents from moving up the esophagus in the direction of the arrow (1)

The symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease are very general and consist of varying degrees of the following:
• Tasting food after eating or bitter taste in mouth
• Swallowing difficulties
• Excess of saliva production
• Long-term sore throat
• Laryngitis, hoarseness, or raspy
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2: A fundoplication can be performed in two ways to help prevent symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (1). A second, newer, surgery is performed by endoscopic treatments. These procedures work to strengthen the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus just like a fundoplication does. However, this surgical option is newer and not used as frequently. When it is used, it can be performed in three ways, EndoCinch, Stretta, and EsophyX (2).
Barrett’s Esophagus Untreated Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease can promote development of a different condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Patient’s Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease have a 3 times increased risk of developing this disease. Barrett’s esophagus occurs when the squamous epithelium of the gastroesophageal junction into the tubular esophagus is replaced by intestinal-like columnar epithelium. If this segment is longer, it results in more severe symptoms. Patients who have Barrett’s esophagus are at an additional risk for developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, cancer of the esophagus. This occurs when acid from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease symptoms alters the DNA and causes cell death.

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