Tolga Erim, MD
- Department of Gastroenterology
- Digestive Diseases Center
- Cleveland Clinic Florida
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems.
The main symptoms of GERD are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning, or trouble swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat or like you are choking or feel that your throat is tight. GERD can also cause a dry cough and bad breath. No one knows why people get GERD. Some things that can contribute to GERD include alcohol use, smoking, being overweight, and being pregnant.
The Department of Gastroenterology at Cleveland Clinic Florida diagnoses and treats patients with problems of the digestive system. Our physicians use innovative diagnostic tools and treatments such as endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration and Spyglass technology.
Tolga Erim, MD is an expert gastroenterologist who was appointed by Cleveland Clinic Florida in 2011. Dr. Erim started his medical career by attending New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. From there he attended Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Florida where he completed a Traditional Osteopathic Internship. Dr. Erim came to Cleveland Clinic Florida to complete an Internal Medicine Residency and a Gastroenterology Fellowship. Then Dr. Erim attended Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for an Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy Fellowship. Dr. Erim’s specialty areas include Barrett’s Esophagus, Bile Duct Disease, Pancreatic Cancer, and Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD).
Please join our live web chat entiled “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Acid Reflux” where you can ask Dr. Erim questions about the topic.
This Health Chat will open on
Monday, November 19, 2012
to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.