ALLERGY & IMMUNOLOGY
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach content backs up from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD affects people of all ages—from infants to older adults.
People with asthma are at higher risk of developing GERD. Asthma flare-ups can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach contents to flow back, or reflux, into the esophagus. Some asthma medications (theophylline) may worsen reflux symptoms.
On the other hand, acid reflux can make asthma symptoms worse by irritating the airways and lungs. This, in turn, can lead to progressively more serious asthma. Also, this irritation can trigger allergic reactions and make the airways more sensitive to environmental conditions such as smoke or cold air.
Everyone has experienced gastroesophageal reflux. It happens when you burp, have an acid taste in your mouth, or have heartburn. However, if these symptoms interfere with your daily life it is time to see your physician.
Other symptoms that occur less frequently but can indicate that you could have GERD are:
- Acid regurgitation (re-tasting your food after eating)
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing
- Sudden excess of saliva
- Chronic sore throat
- Laryngitis or hoarseness
- Inflammation of the gums
- Bad breath
- Chest pain (seek immediate medical help)
Several tests may be used to diagnose GERD including:
- X-ray of the upper digestive system
- Endoscopy (examines the inside of the esophagus)
- Ambulatory acid (pH) test (monitors the amount of acid in the esophagus)
- Esophageal impedance test (measures the movement of substances in the esophagus)
If you have both GERD and asthma, managing your GERD will help control your asthma symptoms.
Studies have shown that people with asthma and GERD saw a decrease in asthma symptoms (and asthma medication use) after treating their reflux disease.
Lifestyle changes to treat GERD include:
- Elevate the head of the bed 6-8 inches
- Lose weight
- Stop smoking
- Decrease alcohol intake
- Limit meal size and avoid heavy evening meals
- Do not lie down within two to three hours of eating
- Decrease caffeine intake
- Avoid theophylline (if possible)
Your physician may also recommend medications to treat reflux or relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter antacids and H2 blockers may help decrease the effects of stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors block acid production and also may be effective.
In severe and medication intolerant cases, surgery may be recommended.
Gerd Specialist Doctor in Los Angeles
Dr. Asif Rafi, MD, is a distinguished Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) specialist, serving the Los Angeles community with his exceptional medical expertise. With a deep-rooted commitment to patient care and well-being, Dr. Rafi has earned a reputation as a trusted and skilled physician in the field of gastroenterology. With extensive training and experience, Dr. Rafi possesses an in-depth understanding of GERD, a chronic condition characterized by acid reflux and heartburn. His patient-centered approach empowers individuals to take control of their health by offering tailored treatment plans that address their unique needs. Dr. Rafi’s diagnostic precision enables him to accurately assess GERD’s underlying causes, ensuring appropriate interventions that enhance patients’ quality of life.
Dr. Asif Rafi values open communication and actively involves his patients in their healthcare journey. He takes the time to educate them about GERD, its triggers, and effective management strategies. This commitment to patient education fosters a collaborative environment where individuals can make informed decisions about their health. Beyond his clinical proficiency, Dr. Rafi’s compassionate demeanor sets him apart. Patients appreciate his empathetic nature and the personalized attention he provides during every interaction. His dedication to staying current with the latest advancements in gastroenterology underscores his commitment to offering cutting-edge treatments and therapies.
If you’re seeking a GERD specialist in Los Angeles who combines medical excellence with a compassionate touch, Dr. Asif Rafi, MD, is your trusted choice. With his guidance, you can embark on a path towards effective GERD management and improved well-being.