Treatment of GERD for Patients Affected by Obesity
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a common disorder among obese patients. GERD is associated with chronic heartburn and acid indigestion that can be painful and cause damage to the esophagus. Danny Shouhed, M.D. offers effective treatment of GERD for patients affected by obesity at our medical facility in Los Angeles.
What Is GERD?
GERD is a disorder of the esophageal sphincter, or LES, which is the muscle that controls the entrance of the esophagus into the stomach. When working correctly, the LES opens to allow food into the stomach, then closes to keep stomach acid from coming up into the esophagus. With GERD, the LES is dysfunctional or weak, allowing gastroesophageal reflux (backflow of the stomach contents into the esophagus) to occur. This can damage the tissue in the esophagus and allow stomach contents to backup to the windpipe and mouth. Symptoms or signs of GERD include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Voice hoarseness or laryngitis
- Asthma irritation or wheezing
- Nocturnal choking
- Excessive flatulence, burping or belching
There are many treatments available to control GERD. One of the proven treatments of GERD for patients affected by obesity is losing weight. Lifestyle changes such as eating smaller meals and avoiding certain substances that affect the LES like alcohol, soda, coffee and chocolate can help control GERD. Also, bariatric surgery can be used to address LES disorders, hiatal hernias and other GERD-related problems. Bariatric surgery can not only be used as a tool to lose weight, but it also correct hiatal hernias and LES dysfunction that can cause GERD.
If you are obese and have GERD, there are effective treatment options to lose weight and control your digestive disorder. Contact us at our office in Los Angeles to schedule a consultation and exam with Dr. Shouhed to discuss GERD and obesity treatment.