Typical and atypical presentations of gastroesophageal reflux disease and its management

Gómez, Jé.E.

Boletin de la Asociacion Medica de Puerto Rico 96(4): 264-269


ISSN/ISBN: 0004-4849
PMID: 15803987
Document Number: 10323
Gastroesophageal Reflux disease (GERD) has a common clinical presentation of a burning discomfort in the retroesternal area, regurgitation and dysphagia. Yet, an estimated of 20 to 60 percent of patients with GERD have head and neck symptoms without any appreciable heartburn. Careful history and a meticulous physical exam can guide us to have a correct diagnosis and give adequate treatment. Other methods, such as gastroscopy and gastric pH monitoring, as well as other diagnostic studies can help us to confirm the diagnosis. Once we have the correct diagnosis stabilized, life style modification should be the first step in the management of GERD, aided with antacids, H2 receptors antagonists and/or Proton pump inhibitors. Family physicians should be aware that helping patients to understand the cause of their symptoms and reinforcing the life style modifications will bring better control of the disease and patients can have improvement of their symptoms leading to possible cure of the disease. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is defined as the movement of gastric contents into the esophagus without presence of vomiting. It is frequently associated with heartburn, the sensation of burning discomfort in retrosternal area, that moves upward, toward the throat. GERD is a chronic, relapsing condition with associated morbidity and adverse impact on quality of life. The purpose of this article is to give an overall look at the clinical presentations of GERD with typical and atypical symptoms, the various presentations of this disease in all of the age groups, and to identify all of the aspects that contribute to the progression and solution of this problem.

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Typical and atypical presentations of gastroesophageal reflux disease and its management