Around 30 Percent in Gujarat suffers from gastric reflux, say experts from Noble Gastro Hospital

Around 30 Percent in Gujarat suffers from gastric reflux, say experts from Noble Gastro Hospital

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], April 25:  A recent study conducted by Ahmedabad based Noble Gastro Hospital has revealed the prevalent issue of gastric reflux in Gujarat, with findings indicating that approximately 30% to 40% of the state population grapples with acidity and heartburn. The study, spearheaded by a team of leading gastroenterologists of the hospital underscores the pressing need for effective treatment options to alleviate the discomfort and disruption caused by these conditions.

Elaborating further details, Dr. Yogesh Harwani, Director and Senior Gastroenterologist, Noble Gastro Hospital said “We, at our state-of-the-art centre for Gastroenterology based out of Ahmedabad see an increasing number of patients suffering from gastric reflux. Our research further says that 3 out of 10 individuals experience symptoms of acidity and heartburn, often stemming from a loosened valve between the food pipe and stomach known as hiatus hernia in medical terminology. Major lifestyle changes can help to relieve the pain and distress such as avoiding eating citrus food especially late at night, avoiding smoking, alcohol and medicines which relieve acidity that patients may need to take long term.”

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, which is a condition where the stomach acid regularly flows back aka refluxes into the food pipe and causes irritation and inflammation. Generally, GERD is found in middle-aged and older people, the reason being that with age because the body’s muscles become relaxed and acid reflux is more common. However, Noble Hospital study revealed that around 80% people of the state suffering from GERD are in the age group of 20-40, a trend increasing alarmingly in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.

For the patients whose’ condition doesn’t respond to medicines, they need intervention. Traditionally, surgical procedures like fundoplication have been employed to address hiatus hernia. However, these methods necessitate scarring, prolonged hospitalization, and may not be favoured by all patients. 

Remarkable advancements in endoscopy technology have revolutionized the landscape of gastrointestinal treatment, offering minimally invasive alternatives with proven efficacy. One such innovation is the GERDx procedure, a non-surgical intervention introduced orally without any incision over abdomen. Administered under mild anaesthesia, GERDx involves the application of sutures to reinforce the weakened valve, thus mitigating reflux and reducing the risk of complications such as oesophageal cancer. Similarly, the ARMA technique, or anti-reflux mucosal ablation, is a simpler endoscopic technique in which superficial two layers of loosened valves are ablated by argon plasma gas to stimulate healing and fortify the compromised valve layers. Use of Anti-acid drugs reduced in 82% of treated patients and significant improvement in GERD HQRL score which is measurement of quality of life for GERD patients.

Notably, both GERDx and ARMA procedures are performed endoscopically and are useful if hiatus hernia is detected in early stages. Extensive studies conducted in Europe on large numbers of patients have supported this technique showing favourable outcomes. Post procedure patients may not require acid relieving medicines. This technique now is available and practised in INDIA by experienced gastroenterologists and helps for early recovery and decrease hospitalization stay.

Dr. Yogesh Harwani affirms the availability and efficacy of these cutting-edge treatments in India, emphasizing their role in facilitating early recovery and reducing hospitalization durations. By offering patients non-surgical options that prioritize both effectiveness and comfort, Noble Gastro Hospital aims to alleviate the burden of gastric reflux and enhance the quality of life for individuals across Gujarat.

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