Acid Reflux Treatment Dubai


Acid Reflux / GERD

Acid reflux is the result of stomach acid passing up into the food pipe (or esophagus).  The acid can cause irritation or even inflammation of the sensitive lining of the esophagus.   This is often felt as heartburn – a burning sensation in the lower or mid-chest – or an acidic taste in the back of the throat or mouth. 

Most people will experience occasional acid reflux symptoms – for example after a big evening meal.  Acid reflux symptoms occurring more than once a week may be due to gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Is GERD the same as GORD?

Yes!  GERD and GORD are both acronyms for gastro-(o)esophageal reflux disease.  It just depends if you use the American spelling for esophagus or the British spelling (oesophagus).  In my practice more people tend to use the term “GERD” than “GORD” so I will use this term here. 

What are the symptoms of GERD?

The typical symptoms of GERD and acid reflux include heartburn and an acidic or bitter taste in the mouth.  Other possible symptoms include belching, a sore throat, a persistent cough, a hoarse voice, a sensation of a lump in the throat and a sensation of regurgitation of fluid up the food pipe or into the mouth. 

What is the cause of GERD?

Between the esophagus and stomach there is a ring of muscle (sphincter) that should be closed when we are not eating or drinking to keep stomach contents in the stomach.  In GERD the sphincter muscle is not working as it should, allowing stomach acid to back up into your esophagus.  Having a hiatus hernia or conditions where the stomach pressure is increased such as obesity or pregnancy can make it easier for acidic stomach contents to reflux up into the esophagus.   

How is GERD treated?

Mild reflux symptoms may respond to simple diet and lifestyle measures such as cutting down on coffee or alcohol, avoiding big meals late at night or elevating the head of the bed at night.  Medications can be an effective way of dealing with GERD – simple antacids can offer rapid relief for infrequent mild symptoms whereas stronger acid suppressing medicines such as proton pumps inhibitors (or PPIs) can offer effective relief from more frequent or severe symptoms.  In some cases, surgical or endoscopic treatments to tighten the sphincter muscle at the bottom of the esophagus and to reduce any hiatus hernia that might be present are used. 

What is a hiatus hernia?

A hiatus hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach (and the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus) push through the diaphragm into the chest.  Most hiatus hernias do not cause any symptoms by themselves.  A hiatus hernia does however make you more likely to develop acid reflux and reflux symptoms as it weakens the barrier between the stomach and esophagus.  Hiatus hernias usually require no treatment if they are not causing symptoms or if any acid reflux can be controlled with lifestyle or diet changes or with acid-suppressing medicine.  It is possible to repair a hiatus hernia which will help treat any associated acid reflux. 

Why should I see a Gastroenterologist?

If you experience reflux symptoms once a week or more, it is a good idea to see a Gastroenterologist to diagnose and treat your condition. If you have GERD, it is important that you don’t let it go untreated. In chronic cases, GERD can result in inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) which might progress to Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal ulceration and narrowing and an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

Dr Neil has over 25 years of experience in diagnosing and treating acid reflux and GERD. He can arrange any necessary tests and help you choose the right treatment for your condition.