Patient: I’m 5’9″ and usually weigh 130 lbs. Upon gaining just a few pounds, I feel abdominal discomfort much like a bloated feeling with pressure up through my esophagus. Is this something I should be concerned about, or is it just due to the weight gain?
Doctor: The symptoms you describe with bloating and pressure up the oesophagus may be suggestive of gastro-oesophageal reflux di sease (GORD) or a hiatus hernia. Your symptoms may have been exacerbated by your recent weight gain. GORD can occur in both children and adults, often when the lower oesophageal sphincter doesnt work properly and acid from the stomach travels up the oesophagus, producing the symptoms of heartburn. Chronic GORD may lead to a change in the lining of the oesophagus over time, and in a few patients can become a pre-malignant condition. A hiatus hernia occurs when abdominal contents protrude through the diaphragm into the thoracic cavity. I would advise attending your family doctor for a detailed history and clinical examination. He may refer you to a gastroenterologist or for some investigations including endoscopy, oesophageal pH monitoring or a Barium swallow to exclude the above conditions.