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What is GORD?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD, happens when the muscles at the base of your oesophagus weaken or the pressure in your abdomen increases. This allows the contents of your stomach, and the stomach acid that usually helps breakdown the food that you eat, move up in to the oesophagus, causing heartburn and acid reflux.

At Push Doctor, our online GPs can discuss your situation with you, identify what’s causing your symptoms and find the most suitable treatment.

GORD symptoms

The main symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease include:

  • Heartburn – this is a burning sensation in your chest, usually felt after eating and may be worse at night
  • Acid reflux – this is when you get an acidic taste in your mouth from regurgitated stomach acid

Other symptoms can be:

The symptoms can vary from person to person, with some people only feeling mild pain or discomfort. Other GORD sufferers can have severe symptoms that cause a lot of pain. GORD can lead to further complications if left untreated, so it is best to get it checked out by a GP.

For a comprehensive list of GORD symptoms.

Getting a GORD diagnosis

An appointment to discuss your symptoms is usually all that is needed for our doctors to diagnose GORD. Further tests or procedures are not normally required.

Our doctors will ask you to describe your symptoms and how they are affecting you. They will also ask how often you experience them, and whether you notice if anything triggers them.

In some cases, you may be referred for tests or other investigative procedures if some of your symptoms are not consistent with GORD or you have unusual symptoms, to make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.

More information about what will happen during your consultation, can be found here.

GORD causes

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD, happens when the muscles at the base of your oesophagus become weak or the pressure inyour stomach increased. This allows the contents of your stomach, and the stomach acid that usually helps breakdown food, to move up in to the oesophagus, causing heartburn and acid reflux.

The cause of GORD is not always obvious. However, there are some things that can increase your chances of developing GORD.

These may include:

  • Genetics
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Being overweight
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Medications
  • Spicy or fatty foods
  • Pregnancy
  • Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and fizzy drinks can all lead to the condition
  • Gastroparesis
  • Wearing tight clothes

To read more about what causes GORD.

GORD treatment

The treatment for GORD could be as simple as a change in your diet or lifestyle, over-the-counter medications, or you may need stronger medication that needs to be prescribed by a doctor.

Self-help treatments may include dietary changes, for example, eating small meals throughout the day. Or it could include losing weight if you are overweight, or quitting smoking, if you smoke.

Over-the-counter medication could help to relieve your symptoms, which include antacids or alginates. If these don’t work, a doctor can prescribe you stronger medication.

You can read more about how GORD can be treated.

GORD in pregnancy

Heartburn and indigestion are common during pregnancy. If you have GORD, you may find you experience more frequent episodes when you are pregnant.

In the later stages of pregnancy as the womb expands, it can press onto the stomach. This can make stomach acid leak into the oesophagus, causing GORD symptoms.

A doctor can go through your symptoms with you and, depending on how severe they are, recommend the right course of treatment. There are a number of medicines that are perfectly safe for GORD in pregnancy, and a doctor will be able to advice which you can take.

If you are currently using medication to manage GORD and become pregnant, it is best to consult a doctor to make sure your current medicine is safe. If not, they may be able to offer an alternative.

For further information about GORD in pregnancy.

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