Management of reflux-related symptoms
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Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease develops when the reflux of gastric contents into the oesophagus results in troublesome symptoms and/or complications . Refluxate contains predominantly acid which causes tissue injury at oesophageal and extra-oesophageal sites. It is one of the commonest gastrointestinal diagnosis worlds over. It is associated with chronic symptoms, reduced QOL, significant cost and serious complications. Goals of therapy are to provide symptom relief, heal oesophagitis and prevent long-term complications. Therapeutic measures are directed at reducing the noxiousness of the refluxate; reducing the gastro-oesophageal reflux; enhancing clearance; protecting the mucosa; reducing the mucosal sensitivity and improving healing. Acid suppression with proton pump inhibitors remains the cornerstone of therapy. Recent studies have resulted in better understanding of disease and relative efficacies of various strategies. This has paved way for a better evidence based approach. The therapy however needs to be individualized depending upon the clinical profile, disease severity, the dominant pathophysiological mechanism, cost, availability and individual preferences.
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