Many Montrealers suffer from GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This disease is chronic, meaning people suffer from it for many years. Perhaps you suffer from it yourself of you know a person or two who is drinking pepto bismal like it is soda pop.
Montrealers will go to their family doctors or walk in clinic if they are concerned about GERD. The doctor will then refer them to a gastroenterologist. If you prefer a private clinic you can try: The Montreal Clinic J.S. Benhamron for Gastroenterology, the consultation is covered by medicare.
Risk factors associated with GERD
GERD also known as as acid reflux disease, occurs when the acid of the stomach backs up into the esophagus and burns the lining of the food tube and or the chest.
There are several factors or conditions that can increase your chances of getting gastroesophageal reflux disease which is the clinical name for GERD. These factors include:
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a rare condition that produces tumors in the pancreas)
Scleroderma and some other connective tissue disorders,
- Hiatal hernia
- Very slow emptying of the stomach contents
- Dry mouth
If left untreated GERD can cause complications over time:
Narrowing of the esophagus
Over time the buildup of acid can cause scar tissue to form on the esophagus and this will narrow the tube making it difficult to swallow. The condition is called Narrowing of the esophagus (esophageal stricture).
An Esophageal ulcer is an open sore in the esophagus. Again, this condition is caused by the stomach acid and it can cause difficulty swallowing, pain and bleeding.
Barrett’s esophagus is a precancerous condition where the lining and color of the esophagus changes. This type of cancer is very rare, but your doctor will want to monitor the condition and you will be asked to have a routine endoscopy every so often to make sure that cancer is not present.