Get Educated

What is GORD?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD, is a digestive disease characterised by chronic acid reflux.  It occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus.

How common is GORD?

GORD is a very common condition with approximately 10-15% of the UK population affected by frequent incidents of reflux.

Is it treatable?

The great news is that GORD is a very treatable disease, but unfortunately many people are unaware that they suffer with the disease due to the vast variety of symptoms it can present with which are often associated with a number of different conditions.

What symptoms should I look out for?

The following Symptoms are often associated with GORD

  1. Chronic Heartburn
  2. Sour Taste in the back of the mouth
  3. Regurgitation
  4. Chest pain or discomfort
  5. Chronic cough, sore throat and/or hoarseness
  6. Belching gas and bloating
  7. Trouble sleeping
  8. Intolerance to certain foods
  9. Nausea

For many people it is normal to experience reflux symptoms occasionally and especially after a large meal.  However this is usually as as Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) if symptoms happen at least twice a week or severe symptom once a week.

You can try this symptom diagnosis that can help gauge your symptoms https://refluxuk.com/symptoms-and-diagnosis/eligibility-symptom-checker/ 

To understand fully if these symptoms are GORD we would suggest you consult a reflux clinic where reflux testing provides the most accurate way to make a diagnosis.

When diagnosis and treatment for GORD are delayed, unfortunately this can increase your risk for serious health conditions including Barrett’s oesophagus and Oesophageal Cancer.  About 26.5% of GORD patients will eventually develop Barretts oesophagus.

So if you are concerned about your symptoms, please arrange an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred for Reflux Diagnostic Testing.  More information can be found in our ‘GET EVALUATED’ section  

What causes Acid Reflux?

There are many potential causes of acid reflux. It is most commonly the result of a poorly functioning lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), which is the valve between the oesophagus and stomach. The LOS valve is designed to open only when you swallow to allow food to pass into your stomach. The valve then seals shut to block out stomach contents at all other times. Acid reflux occurs when the LOS valve is weakened or doesn’t close properly which allows stomach acid to rise into the oesophagus.   To see a video of this, please click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdK0jRFpWPQ

What factors can contribute towards Acid Reflux?

Some factors that can weaken the LOS valve include:

  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Consuming particular foods, such as carbonation, spicy foods, or chocolate
  • Hiatal hernia

Should you notice that your acid reflux tends to only occurs after large meals or after eating certain foods, then you can start by changing your eating habits. Perhaps eliminate trigger foods from your diet, eat smaller meals, and stay upright for two hours after eating. However, should your symptoms not improve, make an appointment with your doctor.

Video courtesy of RefluxUK

Video courtesy of RefluxUK

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