Gastro-esophageal reflux disease is due to the presence of acid or acid food refluxes from the stomach to the esophagus. As explained by Professor Silvio Danese, Head of the Centre for Chronic Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases in Humanitas, in an interview with Radio 24: the esophagus does not have a mucous membrane that helps it neutralize this acidity and is inflamed.


Symptoms of reflux

This continuous “fluid travelling up” causes the onset of symptoms such as burning, pain at the epigastric level (under the sternum), as well as coughing, because the reflux going up can reach the upper respiratory tract.

A gastroscopy may be indicated for diagnosis.


Adjusting the power supply

To counteract this, first of all it is advisable to regulate the type of diet, avoiding the consumption of foods that increase acid secretion (such as mint, coffee, chocolate, fried foods and fatty foods) and therefore worsen the symptoms. Fat foods then slow down the motility of the stomach and therefore the stomach finds itself having foods that irritate it within for a longer time.


Proton Pump Inhibitor Drugs

Some drugs that have changed the management of this disease are also indicated, such as so-called antacids, proton pump inhibitors (which produces acidity in the stomach), to which patients respond very well.

The classic scheme is that this therapy is carried out for eight weeks, but these drugs are also widely used in the long term.