Nearly everyone experiences acid reflux at some point in their life, but if you’re constantly experiencing heartburn symptoms or taking medications without relief, you may have something more serious known as GERD. But did you know being overweight can actually make your symptoms worse?
At Snow Bariatric Center, located in Flower Mound and Fort Worth Texas, our team helps you understand how excess weight affects your overall health. Dr. Robert Snow is our bariatric surgery specialist who offers many weight loss solutions to help you feel better about yourself and kick conditions like GERD for good.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is also known as GERD, is a type of chronic acid reflux. When you have this condition, acidic contents from your stomach flow upward into your esophagus.
Your esophagus connects your mouth to your stomach, and there’s a valve at the lower end of your esophagus that closes after you eat, preventing food from backing up. However, with GERD, that valve doesn’t close the whole way, which allows acid to seep back up into your esophagus.
GERD often leads to a number of uncomfortable symptoms, usually after you’ve eaten a meal. These symptoms may include:
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain in your chest
- Hoarseness in your throat
You may also feel as though there’s something stuck in your throat, or it may feel as though your throat is tight. No matter what symptoms you’re experiencing, GERD is an uncomfortable condition that can escalate as you gain weight.
How is GERD affected by your weight
There are a number of different issues that can cause GERD, one of which is excess weight. The extra pressure that’s placed on your stomach from an abundance of fat in your abdomen can lead to acid reflux.
Whether you’re overweight or obese, your chances of being affected by GERD are much higher than those who are at a normal weight. In fact, according to a Harvard University study, overweight people experienced a 30% increase in symptoms with just a one point increase in their BMI.
This shows that even the slightest increase in your overall weight can significantly impact GERD and its effects on your body. However, the same is true for weight loss.
When you begin to decrease your weight and BMI, it can help you get your GERD symptoms under control, and in some cases, get rid of them completely.
Shedding the pounds can help
Dr. Snow helps you understand how losing weight can eliminate some of your medical problems, from diabetes to GERD. This is especially true when you’re very obese, or your BMI is over 30.
In fact, one study showed that 65% of participants enrolled in a weight loss program, who also had GERD, eliminated their GERD symptoms completely after losing weight.
That percentage shows that losing weight can help to improve your reflux symptoms. Dr. Snow helps you get started with a weight loss program or surgery, that’s best for you and the amount of weight you’d like to lose.
If you’ve tried exercise and dieting and haven’t been able to lose enough weight to control your symptoms, Dr. Snow offers a number of different bariatric surgery options. Depending on how much weight you’d like to lose, among other factors, Dr. Snow can perform any of the following procedures:
If you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery, Dr. Snow helps you decide which procedure is best for you. While the results don’t happen overnight, these procedures are a great way to not only get your weight under control, but your GERD symptoms as well.
If you’re ready to get your GERD, and your weight under control, please call one of our convenient offices in Texas today. You can also request an appointment online using the booking tool on our website.