Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease During Pregnancy

Assessments typically begin with a few questions and a review of the person’s medical history. The doctor may suggest changes to the diet or medications because these can influence symptoms. Because heartburn can spread to the neck, throat, and jaw, it may feel like the radiating chest pain of a heart attack.

Many studies have found that GERD is very common during pregnancy; approximately 30-50% of pregnant women complain of heartburn. Heartburn in pregnancy may occur because of changing hormone levels, which can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how different foods are tolerated.

Fundoplication surgery strengthens the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. But many people continue to need some medicine even after surgery. The main symptom of GERD is heartburn. It may feel like a burning, warmth, or pain just behind the breastbone.

The doctor may use tiny tweezers (forceps) in the endoscope to remove a small piece of tissue for biopsy. A biopsy viewed under a microscope can reveal damage caused by acid reflux and rule out other problems if no infecting organisms or abnormal growths are found. the lower end of the esophagus to prevent acid from refluxing. is a common symptom caused by the refluxing of stomach acid into the esophagus.

The majority of pregnant GERD sufferers report exacerbation of symptoms after eating and at bedtime [15 , 16 ]. We have previously shown the negative impact of GERD symptoms on the quality of life in pregnant women and the insufficient therapy for symptom relief in late pregnancy [9 ]. This is a test to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

The novelty of our study is the methodology employed for the assessment of symptoms. The study is the largest longitudinal study using validated questionnaires to asses GERD symptoms in pregnant women.

We have previously shown the negative impact of GERD symptoms on the quality of life in pregnant women and the insufficient therapy for symptom relief in late pregnancy [9]. GERD symptoms occur more often in pregnant women than in non-pregnant and the frequency rises in the course of pregnancy.

  • Your midwife or GP may ask about your symptoms and examine you by pressing gently on different areas of your chest and stomach to see whether this is painful.
  • These can aggravate reflux in some people.
  • If you have GERD symptoms often, or if they are very bad, your doctor may recommend that you use prescription medicines.
  • During normal digestion, food travels down the esophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach), through a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and into the stomach.
  • We conducted a prospective longitudinal cohort study to investigate the prevalence of GERD symptoms during the time course of pregnancy by using validated reflux-disease questionnaires and further gather information about the treatment patients receive.

The LES is part of the doorway between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens to allow food through and closes to stop stomach acids from coming back up. is frequent heartburn -two or more times a week. Other signs and symptoms can include regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, coughing, wheezing, and chest pain – especially while lying down at night.

In this position, it is physically more difficult for acid to reflux into the esophagus. LBG If a pregnant woman is experiencing mild-to-moderate GERD symptoms during pregnancy, the initial treatment options should include either antacids or an H 2 -receptor antagonist such as famotidine or ranitidine.

Medicines don’t completely relieve symptoms, and the remaining symptoms are caused by reflux of stomach juices. H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid).

Your health-care professional may be able to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease just by the symptoms you report. If symptoms continue for more than 4 weeks despite this therapy, you may be referred to a gastroenterologist.

Part of your treatment may involve more endoscopies and other tests to monitor your health. Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. Occasional mild heartburn can often be relieved by making lifestyle changes and taking nonprescription medicines that reduce or block acid.

This helps food and acid pass through the stomach instead of backing up into the esophagus. Stop smoking. Smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter and increases reflux. Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for GERD. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can’t stop the symptoms.

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January 20, 2015

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