Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Specialist

John Vizuete, MD, MPH

Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX

Most people experience symptoms of acid reflux at times in their lives. Symptoms vary from mild heartburn to severe pain and swallowing difficulty. Chronic Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a serious symptom that warrants thoughtful investigation.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

What is GERD?

GERD — gastroesophageal reflux disease — implies physical symptoms due to exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid. If left untreated, GERD can severely irritate your esophageal lining.

It’s important to recognize symptoms of acid reflux, which may be intermittent and related to dietary choices vs more frequent and occur regardless of food content.  You’ll know you’re experiencing significant gastroesophageal reflux disease when symptoms occur at least twice a week.

In mild to moderate cases of GERD, changing your diet and taking thoughtful hygienic measures can reduce your symptoms. In more extreme cases, you’ll require expert medical attention.

What are the symptoms of GERD?

GERD exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Pain in your upper abdomen
  • A burning sensation in the chest after eating
  • Bitter or sour taste in the mouth following meals
  • Bad breath
  • Problems sleeping
  • A chronic cough
  • The sensation of a lump in your throat
  • Food or sour liquid regurgitation
  • Laryngitis
  • Asthma
  • Difficult or painful swallowing

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, get in touch with Dr. Vizuete for diagnosis and treatment.

How do you diagnose GERD?

Clinical symptoms of GERD are usually not hard to recognize. However, the best way to evaluate the impact of GERD on your body is to perform an upper endoscopy. Dr. Vizuete uses EGD (upper endoscopy) to get a close look at the inside of your esophagus. In doing so, he can determine the extent of your acid reflux and how much damage it has done to your esophageal lining, along with the risk of esophageal cancer.

How is GERD treated?

Dr. Vizuete can recommend a combination of diet changes, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and rarely surgery, for comprehensive GERD treatment.

Acid reducing medicines help neutralize some of the acids in your stomach, alleviate your symptoms, and start your esophagus’ healing process. Dr. Vizuete only considers surgery as a last recourse. In some cases, though, it can be highly effective in preventing long-term complications.

If you’ve had persistent acid reflux, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vizuete to get rid of it once and for all. Call or go online today to start your treatment.