Essentials (South Africa) - - ESSENTIALS -

A num­ber of peo­ple worldwide suf­fer from symp­toms of gas­tro- oe­sophageal re­flux – like heart­burn, dis­com­fort in the up­per ab­domen, or belch­ing – on a monthly ba­sis. ‘ In most cases, there’s no un­der­ly­ing cause,’ says Dr Jonathan Hoare, who’s a gas­troen­terol­o­gist. ‘ But if the symp­toms are fre­quent (more than a cou­ple of times a week), ask your GP to re­fer to you to a spe­cial­ist.’ A hia­tus her­nia, where a part of the stom­ach pushes into the di­aphragm, a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion of the gut, a stom­ach ul­cer, as well as gas­tro- oe­sophageal re­flux dis­ease (GERD), where stom­ach acid flows back into the oe­soph­a­gus caus­ing a burn­ing sen­sa­tion, can all be cul­prits. De­pend­ing on the is­sue, you may need med­i­ca­tion, life­style changes, or surgery.

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