Patients who suffer with GERD can seek integrative treatment from Dr. Mendake at Avaya Wellness Center in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Treatments include a variety of conventional and alternative therapies.
The acronym GERD stands for gastrointestinal reflux disease. Simply put, it means that stomach contents come back up into the esophagus and may even come as high as the mouth. Approximately 20 percent of the US population have GERD, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. GERD is what is commonly called acid reflux or heartburn, because of the acidic contents of the stomach. It's not unusual to have GERD once in a while, but GERD can lead to more serious health problems.
GERD may be a sign of a food allergy or intolerance. Allergy tests can determine if that is the problem. However, you may not have any food allergies and still have GERD. It could still be diet-related, especially if you eat a lot of spicy foods or drink coffee or other beverages with caffeine in them. You may have a hiatal hernia, which can cause GERD. Although it seems counterintuitive, low stomach acid can trigger GERD. GERD also tends to be more common in people who are obese or during pregnancy.
GERD itself isn't dangerous, but if untreated, it can cause a number of more serious problems. If you breathe stomach acid into your lungs, you may develop respiratory problems, and GERD often goes hand-in-hand with asthma. Your esophagus can become inflamed from the stomach acids, and over time, this can increase your risk of cancer of the esophagus. GERD may also cause your esophagus to become narrow (esophageal stricture).
As with any condition, treatment depends on the cause. If you have a hiatal hernia, lifestyle changes like not going to bed until several hours after a meal and sleeping with your head elevated may be all that's needed. Food allergies will resolve if the offending food is eliminated from the diet. Low stomach acid can be treated, and digestive enzymes may be helpful in some cases.
At Avaya Wellness Center, we accept most insurance plans. We accept United health care, Aetna and Blue Shield PPO plans. We are in network for Cigna and Blue Shield. If you don’t see your insurance on the list, we are happy to check your benefits for you. Please enter your insurance information in the online request for appointment to get details on your benefits.
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