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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease, which occurs when the stomach contents (food and acid) flows back into the esophagus (food pipe). This reflux of stomach contents irritates and eats away the lining of the food pipe, causing severe heartburn in the chest and the throat, especially at night or after taking food. The disease is also characterized by intensive coughing or asthma symptoms, bitter taste in the mouth and even affect the sound of an individual`s voice. In most cases, the disease develops due to the malfunctioning of the muscles that prevents stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus (Rasso, 2015). This paper pays high attention to the treatment plan for a patient who has been diagnosed with this digestive condition, and the cultural diversity issues that may affect this patient.
Treatment plan for GERD
My treatment plan for this patient would encompass providing medication options and healthy education on how to minimize the chances of developing stomach content reflux. First, I would prescribe antacids to the patient, as they help in treating mild GERD symptoms, especially heartburn, through weakening (neutralizing) the level of acidity in the stomach. Alternatively, I would prescribe for him other medications that also reduce the acidity level in the stomach. Some of these medications include Histamine type 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) such as Nizatidine and Famotidine, and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), such as Pantoprazole and Omeprazole. Apparently, proton pump inhibitors are more effective compared to H2RAs, since despite relieving heartburn, they also facilitate the healing of the esophagus and stopping the severe coughs (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2011).
On the other hand, I would advise the patient to avoid diets that are spicy, fatty or greasy since they trigger the development of heartburns. In addition, he should avoid acidic fruits such as tomatoes and citrus, and beverages such as soda, tea, coffee, and alcohol, as most of them contain caffeine. Moreover, I would advise the patient to adjust his sleeping habits, such as raising the front end of the bed, such that the head and the shoulders are raised. Additionally, I would encourage the patient to go to bed three hours after taking his meal so that digestion can take time before he sleeps. This would prevent the stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus (Rasso, 2015). Consecutively, I would advise the patient to reduce heavyweight, through embracing physical exercises. The patient should also quit smoking, as this elevates most GERD symptoms.
Nevertheless, there exist some cultural diversity issues that are likely to affect my treatment plan. First, most cultures do not embrace thinness or reduction of body weight as a healthy behavior. Instead, they perceive weight gain as a sign of how healthy one is. Others do not uphold long term taking of drugs, especially when one does not show signs of sickness (Rasso, 2015). This can affect the treatment plan of GERD since patients should continue taking the prescribed drugs before taking their meals, to prevent the occurrence of heartburns.
It is, therefore, evident that GERD is a serious disease that adversely affects the lining of the esophagus. However, the disease can be managed through taking medications that help in reducing the acidic level in the stomach, and facilitate the healing of the esophagus. For this reason, patients should adhere to the treatment options, and the adjustment of their living behaviors, for their own benefit.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, (2011). Treatment Options for GERD or Acid Reflux Disease: A Review of the Research for Adults. Retrieved from, http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productid=756
Rasso D., (2015). Caring for a GERD patient. Retrieved from, http://www.everydayhealth.com/gerd/caregiving.aspx