Many individuals will attest to having experienced heartburn at one time or the other, but did you know that persistent heartburn could be a sign of something more serious and which warrants medical attention? The symptoms of heartburn are usually simple and are only temporary. When you start to experience heartburn for a longer period, and where symptoms do not recede, you should know that something is wrong with your system. This is what causes concern for a condition known as GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease. What should you know about this condition and the first aid for it? Read on to find out what makes it more serious than a simple heartburn.
You would be surprised to learn that all of us experience involuntary reflexes pretty much throughout the day. The difference with those who have heartburn is that for them, the contents mixed with gastric juice cause refluxes more frequently so that the esophagus is exposed to these contents for a longer period of time. It is this persistent heartburn that leads to the symptoms that many patients have become all too familiar with. So, what are the characteristics of someone suffering from GERD? Listed below are some of the facts about this condition that will help you understand the condition better.
– The diagnosis of GERD can be made for an individual who undergoes reflux more than twice in a week. This leads to the irritation of the lining of the esophagus and creates the perfect scenario for other complicated conditions to arise.
– The treatment of this condition for those who experience persistent heartburn involves the use of prescription drugs as well as medication obtained over the counter.
– The patient will also be advised to make lifestyle changes in order to help control the acid reflux. This involves cutting down one’s weight, steering clear of foods that cause the condition to flare up as well as eating small portions of food at a go.
– In case the medication does not work and the symptoms do not recede, then it may be imperative for the patient to go through surgical intervention.
Below are some tips that are of importance particularly for those who experience heartburn frequently and how to administer first aid.
– Some patients who get acid reflux may find that this is usually accompanied by characteristic pain in the chest as opposed to the burning pain that is commonly associated with persistent heartburn. Such pain is eerily similar to heart pain so it is very important that the patients are cleared of the risk of cardiac disease.
– In line with this, it also becomes important for the patient to learn first aid and CPR skills that will help them should the need arise.
– What’s more, some of the symptoms of GERD may be reflective of those in ENT conditions, and they include, but are not limited to constant coughing, losing one’s voice as well as chronic clearing of the throat. As such, it is important for patients to undergo ENT evaluation to rule out the possibility of the same and provide treatment for persistent heartburn.