Medical Surgical GERD #2

Question

The client recently diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) tells the nurse they seem to never remember to take their esomeprazole. The nurse explains to the client about the need to take the medication due to which serious condition caused by GERD?

Answers

  1. Esophageal cancer
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that occurs when a person has reflux of gastric acid. The persistent regurgitation of and exposure to stomach acid can damage esophageal tissue to the extent it causes Barrett’s esophagus. Cellular changes can occur that can lead to esophageal cancer.

  2. Esophageal atresia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because esophageal atresia is not caused by GERD. It is a congenital condition. Having esophageal atresia is a risk for GERD but GERD is not a risk for or cause of esophageal atresia.

  3. Stomach cancer
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because stomach cancer is not caused by GERD. Esophageal cancer can occur due to persistent exposure to stomach acid associated with GERD, which can cause tissue damage and cellular changes that can lead to esophageal cancer.

  4. Ulcerative colitis
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because ulcerative colitis is not caused by GERD. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition and is often attributed to an autoimmune response in the body.

Overview

If gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is untreated, it can produce Barrett’s esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer. Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which reduces acid in the stomach and reduces the symptoms of GERD.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that occurs when a person has reflux of gastric acid. The persistent regurgitation of and exposure to stomach acid can damage esophageal tissue to the extent it causes Barrett’s esophagus. Cellular changes can occur that can lead to esophageal cancer. Various things contribute to GERD symptoms, including physiological, lifestyle, dietary factors, and medications. Physiologic things include a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is too relaxed allowing acid to regurgitate to the esophagus, causing tissue damage. A hiatal hernia can cause pressure which can push acid from the stomach to the esophagus. Being overweight or pregnant increases intra-abdominal pressure, causing acid to regurgitate into the esophagus from the stomach. Lifestyle factors, which relax or irritate the LES includes smoking and alcohol intake. Dietary factors include eating chocolate, spicy or greasy foods, and drinking tea or carbonated beverages.

Test Taking Tip

There is a big difference between what causes something and what is caused by something. Be sure to read the question carefully.

Video Rationale