GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) Specialist

GI Consultants

Bhavin Dave, MD

Gastroenterology located in Dover, DE

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid moves the wrong way, washing up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain, vomiting, and other issues on a regular basis. At GI Consultants in Dover, Delaware, Bhavin Dave, MD, can help you live free from the continual irritation of GERD symptoms. Book your appointment online or by phone today.

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) Q & A

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that happens when the muscle that closes your esophagus doesn’t function correctly. This allows your stomach fluids, including acids, to wash the wrong way. 

If you suffer from GERD, you often experience a burning sensation in your chest or throat, called heartburn. Another common symptom is a bitter taste at the back of your mouth, called acid reflux. 

What are the symptoms of GERD? 

GERD sufferers have mild acid reflux a minimum of twice weekly, or more serious acid reflux a minimum of once weekly. Other symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Lump in your throat
  • Cough
  • Laryngitis
  • Asthma
  • Sleep interruptions

If these symptoms are familiar to you, speak to an experienced gastroenterologist at GI Consultants to get the help you need.

How is GERD diagnosed?

Your GI Consultants gastroenterologist discusses your symptoms with you and determines which diagnostic tests best suit your situation. Testing options include:

24-hour pH

In a 24-hour pH test, your gastroenterologist places a tiny monitor inside your esophagus to monitor stomach acid regurgitation. The esophagus monitor transmits information to a miniature device that you wear on your waist or elsewhere on your body. 

Your gastroenterologist might also do this test after a GERD diagnosis to determine how your new medication works or whether surgery was effective.

Motility studies

A motility study allows your GI Consultants gastroenterologist to check the function of the valve that joins your stomach and esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter. During a motility study, your gastroenterologist observes your lower esophageal sphincter strength, pressure, and how it helps shift food downwards.

Other possible tests to diagnose GERD include upper endoscopy, barium X-rays, and others recommended by your gastroenterologist.

How is GERD treated?

Treatment for GERD includes both lifestyle changes and medication. Lifestyle changes usually involve eating smaller meals, losing extra weight, and avoiding alcohol. 

Medications to relieve GERD include:

  • Antacids
  • H-2-receptor blockers to diminish acid production
  • Proton pump inhibitors to stop acid production
  • Baclofen to make the lower esophageal sphincter stronger

If lifestyle changes and medication don't relieve GERD, you may require surgery. If needed, your GI Consultants gastroenterologist refers you to a trusted surgeon who performs magnetic augmentation. 

In this minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon implants a small ring of magnetic beads around your lower esophageal sphincter to prevent acid reflux.

For help with GERD, call GI Consultants or book your appointment online or by phone today.