Is GERD An Autoimmune Disease?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a disorder in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus causing discomfort damage to the lining of the esophagus. GERD is caused by various factors including lifestyle choices genetics environmental factors. However one of the questions frequently asked is whether GERD is an autoimmune disease.
Understanding Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues in the body. The immune system is responsible for defending the body against foreign invaders such as viruses bacteria. However in autoimmune diseases the immune system mistakes the body’s healthy tissues as foreign attacks them. Autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of the body including the joints skin organs.
The Link between GERD Autoimmune Diseases
While GERD is not an autoimmune disease there may be a link between GERD autoimmune diseases. Several autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome systemic sclerosis can cause GERD symptoms. In these cases the underlying autoimmune disease affects the muscles tissues in the esophagus making it difficult for food to pass through causing acid reflux.
GERD Triggers Autoimmune Diseases
Research has shown that chronic inflammation caused by GERD can trigger autoimmune responses in the body. When there is inflammation in the esophagus caused by GERD the body’s immune system responds by producing antibodies that attack the esophageal tissues. Long-term GERD can trigger autoimmune diseases such as collagenous eosinophilic esophagitis.
In summary GERD is not an autoimmune disease but can have a link to autoimmune diseases. Although GERD may not directly cause autoimmune diseases chronic inflammation caused by GERD can trigger autoimmune responses in the body. Patients with GERD should be aware of the potential link between GERD autoimmune diseases discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider to ensure that they receive proper diagnosis treatment.
Discussion about this post