GERD

GERD. That’s the American acronym. In British & Australian English the acronym is GORD. That’s because we spell oesophagus with an o and the Americans don’t. Either way, it stands for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease. Or, for the pedantic Americans who may be reading, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. 🙂 (I will use the acronyms and various spellings interchangably. Because I’m like that. )

It’s a chronic illness of the upper digestive tract.

Acid reflux is not a harmless bout of indigestion. You should be consulting your doctor if you suffer acid reflux or indigestion more than two or three times a week. Just to be sure. Maybe it’s just your diet. Then again, maybe it’s not.

Unpleasant, often painful and can lead to some most unpleasant complications. Including Barret’s oesophagus and cancer.

I have GERD. I was diagnosed in 2004. The disease was confirmed via endoscopic examination. By the time of the exam I also had a nasty bout of oesophagitis. They also diagnosed a small but insistent hiatus hernia.

Medical science’s knowledge of this disease has grown and changed in the years I have been living with it. It pays to do your research and keep up to date. One of the finest sources of accurate medical information on GERD can be found at the Gastroenterological Society of Australia’s website. The current information guidelines for doctors can be found under the Professional Information pages under “Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease”. As a patient it is worth downloading the PDF of those guidelines and reading them.  It’s a reasonably short booklet but it has a lot of up to date information on the disease, prognosis, diagnosis and management.

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