Causes, treatment and red flag symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
Why read this article?
GORD is a very common condition but can mask serious underlying disease. This Update covers its diagnosis, red flag symptoms and key treatment options.
What causes GORD?
Problems with the lower oesophageal sphincter cause stomach acid to flow into the oesophagus, which is not able to protect against erosion. Inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus can develop, and can be associated with ulceration and strictures. Between 25 and 40 per cent of patients in primary care show evidence of oesophagitis on endoscopy.
When should I refer?
Patients with bloody or black stools, difficulty swallowing, unintentional weight loss, abdominal swelling or unrelenting stomach pain, persistent vomiting or iron deficiency anaemia should be referred. Patients over 55