Weight loss is effective for GERD treatment, and gastric bypass has been particularly successful. In 2003, gastric bypass surgery cured my GERD.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux, also referred to as GERD or acid reflux, occurs when the contents of the stomach are returned to the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach. The LES will normally open to allow food into the stomach and close to prevent it from returning to the esophagus.
GERD occurs when the LES is weak or relaxed, and the contents of the stomach return to the esophagus. The severity of GERD depends on the level of LES dysfunction.
Factors that contribute to GERD are hiatal hernia, cigarette smoking, and pregnancy. Diet is also an important factor. Foods and beverages such as chocolate, fried or fatty foods, coffee, and alcohol contribute to GERD, as well.
GERD also is an obesity-related illness.
GERD and Obesity
There is a link between obesity and GERD. Several studies have discovered that excess weight nearly doubles the possibility for GERD. Symptoms include heartburn, regurgitation of acid, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.
A study cited by Texas Stroke Institute maintains that obese people can be up to six times more likely than normal weight people to have gastroesophogeal reflux.
People who are obese are about three times more likely than normal weight individuals for developing esophageal cancer.
Who Gets GERD?
Nearly two-thirds of America adults are overweight. And esophageal cancer has quadrupled in the last twenty years. An estimated 20% of American adults have GERD.
Overweight, pre-menopausal women who have had hormone therapy have the strongest link.
GERD by Melissa Elise on 8 March 2015
Global GERD Epidemic
Obesity is a problem that has spread well beyond the United States.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Eivind Ness-Jensen at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Levanger found that GERD has risen in Norway by almost 50% in the last ten years. Esophageal cancer is a particular concern. The incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing and may continue to rise. Ness-Jensen points out that there are very few treatments for this type of cancer and the prognosis is poor.
There is universal agreement that poor diet and obesity are responsible for the rise in GERD. There is much evidence to support the contention that losing weight is an effective GERD treatment. Many people are not aware that gastric bypass surgery nearly cures GERD.
Gastric Bypass and GERD Treatment
Research conducted by Dr. Fernando Fornari of the University of Passo Fundo shows that gastric bypass surgery was a successful GERD treatment in most of the 86 obese patients who were evaluated. Substantial improvements in heartburn symptoms were also noted.
The patients in the study were evaluated before gastric bypass surgery and again 6 months later.
Of the forty-nine patients who had reflux syndrome prior to gastric bypass surgery, thirty-nine were symptom free within six months after weight loss surgery. Read, “Weight Loss Surgery Insurance Coverage.”
Gastric Bypass Surgery GERD Treatment
The reason gastric bypass surgery cures GERD is that the small upper stomach (the pouch) created during the surgery has very few cells that can produce acid. The acid producing portion of the stomach is disconnected from the esophagus. So the GERD usually goes away, often on the first day after the gastric bypass.
Patients no longer have acid reflux and are free from the symptoms of GERD. This gives the esophagus time to heal, and stops the ongoing chronic injury caused by acid reflux.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life