Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or popularly known as Acid Reflux is usually associated with aging, but can affect anyone due to genetic or lifestyle effects. Latest information on GERD in Malaysia has indicated that GERD sufferers are on the rise and Over The Counter (OTC) prescription to treat GERD have also risen simultanousy over the past 5 years. GERD sufferers experience painful symptoms of this disease frequently, impacting their quality of life and disrupting interaction with friends and family.
What is GERD
GERD is a chronic digestive disease which occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). This flowback, or also known as reflux, irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD. These flowback/reflux occurs due to weakness or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing the stomach content to flow up to the esophagus. It is not known what causes the LES to weakened or relax, but researchers have attributed the condition called hiatal hernia as the most likely cause.
Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD where a sensation of burning chest pain begins behind the breastbone and moving upward to the neck and throat. Many people say it feels like food is coming back into the mouth leaving an acid or bitter taste. The burning, pressure, or pain of heartburn can last as long as 2 hours and is often worse after eating. Lying down or bending over can also result in heartburn. Many people obtain relief by standing upright or by taking an antacid that clears acid out of the esophagus.
Current Treatments for GERD
Treating GERD involves personalized treatment as it is essential for medical doctors to know the severity of GERD that the patient is experiencing. Currently most medical practitioners would would initially recommend lifestyle changes for not so severe cases like weight reduction, observation of meal times, diet control, reduced smoking and elevation of head rest (to allow gravity to reduce reflux). On occasions, prescription of antacid would help to neutralize acid in the esophagus and stomach and stop heartburn. However long term use of antacid is not recommended. Next level involves more medication known as H2 Blockers and Proton pump inhibitors. In severe cases, it involves surgery where a portion of the stomach is lifted and tightened around the gastroesophageal junction to increase pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent reflux.
Treating GERD with PRP and Probiotics
Our panel clinic, Klinik Stellar is one of the first clinic in Malaysia that offers treatment of GERD with PRP and Probiotics and have seen high cure rates on most of the patients that have been treated. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) PRP contains several different growth factors and other cytokines that can stimulate healing of soft tissue, and probiotics have been proven to help in gut health. Combined together, it forms a highly effective treatment for GERD or acid reflux sufferers.
Read a live testimony of Dr. Lai Jun Yi, who is now living GERD free and enjoying life to the fullest.