GERD and the Relation to Diabetes

GERD known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition where the contents of the stomach back up. It is also a chronic condition that can lead to Barrett's Esophagus. Though GERD is very common, it happens moreso in a diabetic. Why is this? Read on.

Your esophagus is responsible for transporting your food from mouth to your stomach. The stomach is acidic in everyone, and this helps to break down food during digestion after being activated by enzymes. You have an esophageal sphincter, which is a ring of muscle that acts as a valve. This valve opens and will allow your food to go from the esophagus to the stomach. Then the valve closes again, so that it prevents stomach contents from coming back up.

When your lower esophageal sphincter does not close as it should, GERD can occur. If there is an autonomic neuropathy present, which is a diabetic complication, this is a cause for having a reflux problem. Acidic contents cause damages to these nerves, and the result is heartburn in certain degrees of severity, burping or belching, or the feeling that you have food stuck in your throat. It can also cause halitosis, (bad breath), and a dry type of cough.

A number of things can worsen reflux problems. One of them is alcohol consumption, overweight/obesity, smoking brings a lot of it on, chocolate consumption, and fried foods. Not to mention spicy foods and foods that are tomato based may irritate the problem as well.

One of the best things to do when you have this problem with the heartburn, obe of the best ways to control it when laying down is to raise your head up by adding extra pillows. This seems to help soothe the problems. Other things you can do are the following:

Take Tums or other antacids. Maalox or Mylanta is also very good and will soothe the heartburn.

Histamine-2 receptor blockers or H@ blockers like Tagamet, Pepcid, or Zantac inhibit the production of stomach acid by preventing the chemical histamine from stimulating a pump inside the stomach that releases acids in the first place.

There is another type of medication available called proton pump inhibitors. Prilosec and Prevacid are types of these drugs. They are very powerful H2 blockers.

Another option is surgery where the esophagus is stretched to correct the severe heartburn problems. This is only done as an intervention if other methods don't work by a gastroenterologist.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

An HONcode certified guide to acid reflux, heartburn and GERD: with illustrations and videos. Covers diagnosis, treatments, complications, medications and more. "Acid Reflux Symptoms".