If you are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is commonly expressed through acid reflux or heartburn, contact our GI doctors and specialists for treatment and relief. NYC gastroenterologist Dr. Anthony Borcich has over three decades of experience treating GERD and acid reflux patients in Greater New York City and is renowned for his expertise, compassionate care, and thorough approach. He emphasizes a patient-centric approach, offering the latest diagnostic tests and treatment procedures to fit your unique needs.
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a chronic disease characterized by the flow of stomach acid up into your esophagus, causing injury to the esophagus lining. While occasional heartburn and acid reflux are quite common, if you experience these symptoms more than twice a week, it may indicate the presence of GERD.
What causes gastroesophageal reflux disease?
To learn what causes GERD, it’s important to understand a little bit about your anatomy. At the bottom of your esophagus is a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES loosens when you are eating to allow food and drink to go down your throat and into your stomach. However, if this valve relaxes abnormally or becomes weak, it provides your stomach acid with an easy passageway to flow back up into your esophagus, creating the acidic feeling and familiar sensation of heartburn. Over time, this constant reflux of acid into your esophagus can irritate the lining and cause it to become inflamed and sore, eventually wearing away the esophagus’s lining. That can lead to further medical complications, including narrowing of your esophagus and a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
There are a number of physical, lifestyle and dietary factors that may place you at a higher risk for a weakened LES. These include obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, smoking, asthma, excess alcohol consumption, and consuming certain foods and beverages.
What are the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease may cause or coincide with other symptoms, which may include:
- Acid reflux
- Sour taste in your mouth
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Sensation of having a lump in your throat
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
How is gastroesophageal reflux disease treated?
The first step to learning about your GERD treatment in New York City is an examination with an NYC gastroenterologist to properly diagnose your condition. Dr. Borcich will start with a thorough evaluation, including a review of your medical history, your symptoms and any over-the-counter heartburn and acid reflux medications that you take. Many cases of GERD can be diagnosed based on symptoms and physical examination alone. However, if needed, an upper endoscopy may be recommended in order for Dr. Borcich to evaluate your esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine to examine any potential damage.
Once a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease has been made, Dr. Borcich will be able to recommend a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Conservative GERD and acid reflux treatments such as over-the-counter medications (e.g. antacids) or prescription medications that block or reduce acid production may be effective at improving symptoms. A medication that helps to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter may also be prescribed. Important studies have recently highlighted some disturbing potential consequences of the long-term use of certain acid-reducing medications. The regimen that Dr. Borcich will recommend for you will take into account these potential concerns to derive the greatest benefit with the greatest safety.
If lifestyle factors are part of the problem leading to worsening symptoms, Dr. Borcich may recommend some modifications that include: quitting smoking, losing weight, elevating your head while sleeping and not eating too close to bedtime.
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), an evaluation with an experienced Manhattan gastroenterologist is the first step to finding relief. Anthony Borcich, M.D. has more than 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating acid reflux and heartburn caused by GERD and is known for his compassionate care and personalized approach. Schedule an appointment with a GERD and acid reflux doctor today by contacting our office or filling out the schedule appointment form on this page.