In this article, we will discuss what GERD is and the symptoms that accompany this disease. Additionally, we will look at another common disease known as gastritis and the symptoms you may experience. Knowing the differences and treatments that will help you live a more comfortable life is important. Now let's get a better understanding of what these conditions are.
What is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
GERD is caused by a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) malfunction. The LES is a muscle ring separating the stomach from the esophagus. Normally, the LES opens to let food into the stomach and closes to keep food and stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. When this muscle does not work properly, stomach contents can flow back into the esophagus, causing symptoms of GERD.
Many things can contribute to the development of GERD. Some of these include being overweight or obese, eating certain foods (such as spicy or fatty foods), smoking, pregnancy, and certain medical conditions (such as hiatal hernia). Treatment for GERD will vary depending on the severity of the symptoms. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as diet and weight loss may be enough to control symptoms. For more severe cases, medication may be necessary to control symptoms and prevent damage to the esophagus. Surgery is also an option for some people with GERD.
There are many symptoms associated with GERD. Common symptoms include heartburn, chest pain, trouble swallowing, and regurgitation. GERD can cause other symptoms, such as bad breath, coughing, and wheezing. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.
What is Gastritis?
Gastritis is a condition that inflames the stomach lining. Gastritis symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, bloating, and pain in the upper abdomen. Gastritis can be caused by various things, including infection, stress, and certain medications. Treatment for gastritis may involve antibiotics, antacids or other medications to reduce stomach acid. If acute gastritis becomes chronic, surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove the damaged portion of the stomach lining. Left untreated, Gastritis can lead to serious complications like ulcers, bleeding in the stomach or even stomach cancer.
Are there different types of gastritis?
There are different types of gastritis. The most common type is acute gastritis, a short-term inflammation of the stomach lining. This can be caused by a viral infection, drinking too much alcohol, or taking certain medications. Chronic gastritis is long-term inflammation of the stomach lining caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, autoimmune disorders, or repeated injury to the stomach lining. This can lead to ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. Treatment for gastritis depends on the underlying cause. For example, if H. pylori bacteria are causing chronic gastritis, then antibiotics may be prescribed to kill the bacteria. If an autoimmune disorder causes gastritis, immunosuppressive medications may be necessary to reduce inflammation. Gastritis can also be treated with antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce stomach acid production.
The Difference between the Two Diseases.
GERD is a medical condition in which the stomach contents reflux back into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain, and trouble swallowing. Gastritis is a medical condition that refers to inflammation of the stomach's lining. This can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. GERD and gastritis are often confused because they both involve symptoms in the stomach area. However, they are two different conditions with different causes and treatments. If you think you may have either GERD or gastritis, it is important to see a doctor to get properly diagnosed and treated.
Some common symptoms of GERD include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that they can rule out other potential causes and properly diagnose your condition. Various treatment options for GERD are available, including lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, and prescription medications. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat GERD. If you think you may have GERD, talk to your doctor to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Gastritis symptoms include:
Like with GERD, it’s important to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Gastritis has a variety of potential causes, including excessive alcohol intake, infection, stress, and certain medications. Treatment for gastritis may include lifestyle changes, antibiotics or other prescription medications, and anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove part of the stomach lining.
It's important to distinguish the symptoms of GERD and gastritis because they require different treatments. Suppose you're experiencing symptoms like upper abdominal pain, heartburn or nausea. In that case, it's important to consult a healthcare professional to determine whether you have GERD or gastritis. GERD is often treated with medications that reduce stomach acid production, while chronic gastritis is often treated with antibiotics. However, both conditions can be controlled through diet and lifestyle changes. Adjusting your diet and avoiding trigger foods can help alleviate symptoms of GERD and gastritis. Also, avoiding alcohol and smoking can help control symptoms of both conditions.
How are these Diseases Developed?
Acid reflux, GERD, and gastritis are all medical conditions that involve the digestive system. Acid reflux is when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. GERD is a more serious form of acid reflux, in which the acid can damage the esophagus lining. Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. All three conditions can be caused by various factors, including diet, lifestyle, and genetics. Treatment for all three conditions typically involves lifestyle changes and medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct severe damage to the digestive system.
There are many causes of GERD and gastritis, but a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is the most common. H. pylori is a bacteria that infects the stomach lining and causes inflammation. Other causes include:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Chronic stress or anxiety
- Use of certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen
- A history of radiation therapy to the stomach area
Again, symptoms of gastritis can include:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Indigestion or heartburn
- loss of appetite
Treatment Options for GERD and Gastritis.
GERD Treatment options for GERD include lifestyle changes, such as avoiding trigger foods and eating smaller meals, not eating within 3 hours of going to bed, and medications, such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors. Surgery is also an option for severe cases of GERD. Talk to your doctor about which treatment option is best for you. GERD can be a painful and frustrating condition, but there are ways to treat it and get relief from its symptoms.
Gastritis: Gastritis treatment typically involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Medications decrease stomach acid production, while lifestyle changes focus on avoiding foods and activities that trigger gastritis symptoms.
In some cases, gastritis can lead to ulcers. Ulcers are open sores that form in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. Ulcers can be very painful and may bleed. If left untreated, ulcers can cause serious health problems, including bleeding and infection. Long term chronic gastritis is also a risk factor for stomach cancer.
Please note any treatment approaches mentioned are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Contact Index Health.
We don't believe medical care should be a mystery to the patient. We're here with you every step to understand our process and the reasoning behind your treatment.
- We dedicate time to understanding your genetics, history, lifestyle, and goals. Combined with advanced lab tests, our functional medicine approach gives you in-depth information about your health and body.
- We identify and address the root cause of disease and plan for prevention and long-term health using functional medicine-based changes in nutrition, lifestyle, and targeted supplements.
- With proactive 30-60 min functional medicine appointments, primary care, unlimited messaging, and mini-visits, we ensure that you achieve your health goals.
Start taking charge of your life now. Change how you eat and your lifestyle choices, so you don't have to suffer from these conditions. These diseases are very serious and, left untreated, can cause much harm. It is important to get ahead of the symptoms and regulate the acidity in your stomach. We hope you have learned more about GERD and Gastritis and these diseases' symptoms, so now you know what to watch for.