GERD services offered in Portland, OR

Frequent or ongoing heartburn can indicate that you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Skilled gastroenterologist Ilana Gurevich ND, LAC, MSOM, of Open Wellness PDX, offers holistic treatments, like Chinese medicine and acupuncture, to help relieve symptoms of GERD. To find out how you could benefit from GERD treatment, call the office in Portland, Oregon, or book an appointment online today.


What is GERD? 

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a gastrointestinal problem that causes stomach acid to flow up into your esophagus, which is a tube that connects your throat to your stomach. This acid can irritate your esophageal lining, causing you to feel uncomfortable. 

If you struggle with severe or ongoing acid reflux, see Dr. Gurevich at Open Wellness PDX for an evaluation.

What are the symptoms of GERD?

The common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Lump in your throat
  • Regurgitation 
  • Laryngitis
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Chronic cough
  • New or worsening asthma

If GERD is left untreated, it could lead to complications like esophageal narrowing and open sores, which can indicate signs of esophageal cancer.

What are the risk factors for GERD?

GERD is caused by a loose esophageal sphincter, the band of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus. GERD risk factors and possible trigger foods include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Eating large meals late at night
  • Smoking or alcohol use
  • Coffee or other caffeinated drinks
  • Some medications
  • Fatty foods or fried foods

Ways to reduce your chance of developing GERD include adopting healthy habits, maintaining an ideal body weight, and avoiding the foods and drinks that trigger heartburn.

How is GERD diagnosed?

Dr. Gurevich can diagnose GERD after reviewing your symptoms and medical history, checking your vital signs, and completing a physical exam. However, the gold standard to diagnose GERD is an endoscopy performed by a gastroenterologist.

She might also recommend various diagnostic tests like an upper endoscopy (which uses a thin tube to view the inside of your digestive tract), X-rays, or other tests that measure esophageal muscle contractions.

How is GERD treated?

Your treatment plan will depend on how severe your condition is and your lifestyle. Dr. Gurevich may recommend holistic approaches like Chinese medicine, acupuncture, or making dietary changes to help treat the underlying cause of your GERD. 

You might need to avoid certain foods and drinks that trigger heartburn, elevate the head of your bed when you sleep, and avoid lying down after meals. It’s also important to refrain from eating large meals before bed, as well as avoid smoking and tight-fitted clothing. 

To find out more about GERD and how holistic treatments could help with your gastrointestinal disorder, call Open Wellness PDX today, or book an appointment online.