GORD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease) is a common disorder in which stomach acid spills into the oesophagus (gullet).
It is normally caused by a weakening of the ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus. Learn more about GORD’s triggers.
Heartburn and a bad taste in the back of the mouth are two signs of GORD. For others, it can be a minor annoyance, but for others, it may be a severe, lifelong issue.
Self-help and medicine are often effective in the treatment of GORD. Surgery with help of Private Gastroenterologist London to fix the problem may be needed in some cases.
Author: Dr. Sarmed Sami MBChB, MRCP, PGCME, PhD
Consultant Gastroenterologist, Founder and Director of Digestive Health UK.
What are the symptoms of GORD?
GORD can cause the following symptoms:
- Indigestion (an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest that often occurs after eating)
- Acid indigestion (where stomach acid comes back up into your mouth and causes an unpleasant, sour taste)
- Oesophagitis is the inflammation of the oesophagus (a sore, inflamed oesophagus)
- Poor breath, bloating, and belching, as well as a sensation of being sick and/or trouble swallowing
Treatments of GORD
The following are the most popular GORD treatments:
- Over-the-counter medications – ask your pharmacist to prescribe an antacid or an alginate stronger prescription medicines – including proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) and
- H2-receptor antagonists self-help steps – this involves consuming smaller but more regular meals, avoiding any foods or beverages that cause your symptoms, raising the head of your bed, and maintaining a healthy weight (H2RAs)
What are the complications of GORD?
Stomach acid will damage your oesophagus and cause more complications if you have GORD for a long time.
There are some of them:
- Oesophageal ulcers (sores) – these may bleed and render swallowing painful; oesophageal scarring and narrowing – this may make swallowing uncomfortable and may necessitate surgery to fix.
- Barrett’s oesophagus – variations in the cells lining the oesophagus Oesophageal cancer may arise from these cells on rare occasions, so you will need to be closely monitored.
Causes of GORD
The damaged ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus (gullet) is the most common cause of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
This ring of muscle normally opens to allow food into your stomach and closes to prevent stomach acid from leaking back up into your oesophagus.
Stomach acid will, however, move back up into the oesophagus in people with GORD. This results in GORD symptoms such as heartburn and acid reflux.
It’s not always clear what causes this muscle ring to weaken, but some factors may boost the odds of it happening.
Risk of GORD
The following factors can make you more susceptible to GORD:
- Eating large quantities of fatty foods – the stomach takes longer to get rid of stomach acid after digesting a fatty meal, and the resulting excess acid may leak up into the oesophagus smoking, alcohol, coffee, or chocolate – this may relax the muscles at the bottom of the oesophagus
GORD hiatus hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm due to temporary changes in hormone levels and increased pressure on your stomach during pregnancy.