When to See a Doctor For GERD
GERD, otherwise known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a chronic condition that causes stomach acid (bile) to flow into the food pipe (esophagus), which results in irritation and inflammation of the esophagus. When this happens, it causes a disruptive and uncomfortable burning sensation that is felt in the back of the throat and upper chest area.
GERD affects millions of people and symptoms can range from mild to more severe. For example, some people may experience random episodes of symptoms and others may experience daily occurrences. When GERD symptoms are frequent, it is important to consult with a gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks. Dr. Sharam Daneshgar will be able to evaluate your health and symptoms and determine the condition and provide you with the best and most effective treatment.
GERD vs. Heartburn
Unsure if your symptoms are GERD or just heartburn? While an occasional episode of heartburn can be normal, if you are experiencing heartburn more frequently (multiple episodes in a week), it is important to see a Thousand Oaks gastroenterologist.
For patients who have GERD, the lower esophageal sphincter fails to work properly and the stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus can cause damage over time if left untreated.
When You Should See a Doctor
You are probably wondering if and when you should see a doctor if you are experiencing frequent symptoms characterized by GERD. Here are some determining factors that you should see a gastroenterologist Thousand Oaks.
- Frequent episodes of symptoms that continue for more than two weeks
- Heartburn that continues after taking over-the-counter medications
- Heartburn that changes in severity or frequency
- Symptoms that are felt at night that affect your sleep
- Acid reflux or heartburn that affects your quality of life and/or daily activities
- Unintentional weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty or pain swallowing
- Heartburn accompanied by nausea or vomiting
- Hoarseness or wheezing
If you are experiencing any of the above signs, contact our team to schedule a consultation with our highly experienced gastroenterologist for diagnosis and treatment.