Case Study: Upper GI Essay

Mrs. T is a 45 yr old female who reports frequent heartburn and regurgitation of acid into her mouth for the past three months. There is no change in her usual eating habits or her weight. She has no problem with swallowing, food getting stuck, or respiratory issues. There is no abdominal pain. She has tried taking over-the-counter antacids, such as calcium carbonate (Tums), with only a little relief.


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Body Mass index (BMI) is 28. She is alert and well-nourished. Exam including oropharynx, neck, chest and abdomen are normal.


Gastroesophageal reflux


Answer the following questions based on the scenario and article above and save your responses in a Microsoft Word document. Provide a scholarly resource in APA format to support your answers.

1. Outline the path that a bolus of food would take from the mouth to the
duodenum. This should include any sphincters.
2. Describe the digestive function of each area of the upper GI tract mentioned in Q1 Case Study: Upper GI Essay.
3. Describe the anatomical problem that causes gastroesophageal reflux.
4. Research to find out the names of 2 medications that are used to treat GERD.
5. How do each of these medications work to relieve symptoms?

Writing Requirements
Minimum of 1 scholarly source


Upper IG Tract

Food begins to move through an individual’s IG tract from the mouth. The tongue pushes the food to the esophagus through the epiglottis to prevent choking. At the esophagus, the process becomes automatic (Cheng et al., 2020). In the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscles relax to allow food to pass to the stomach. In the stomach, the food mixes with digestive juices and releases food into the small intestine. Duodenum completes the first phase of digestion.

Duodenum receives secretions from the pancreas and liver, which continues to break down food. The function of each area of the upper GI tract includes; the mouth is responsible for food intake. The lower esophageal sphincter enables the transit of food into the stomach, and the stomach produces hydrochloric acid, enzyme pepsin, and mucus (Boland, 2016). Lastly, the duodenum completes the first phase of digestion. Food pauses before reaching the stomach because of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

LES prevents the stomach contents from returning to the esophagus, thus preventing erosive effects from stomach acids. Heartburn is caused by acid reflux into the esophagus. When this does not close well, the stomach contents move back, and this causes gastroesophageal reflux. Two medications that can be used to treat GERD are Pantoprazole and Lansoprazole.

Pantoprazole is a proton force inhibitor that drastically reduces the quantity of acid produced in the stomach (Abed et al., 2020). Pantoprazole is used to treat damaged esophagus caused by GERD. For proper healing of the esophagus, the drug is administered for eight weeks for adults and children above five years of age. The second drug is lansoprazole. Lansoprazole reduces the amount of acid generated by the stomach walls (Abed et al., 2020). This drug is used to treat stomach ulcers and ulcers of the intestine.



Describe the anatomical problem that causes gastroesophageal reflux.

Food pauses briefly before entering the stomach because of a constriction called the lower

esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES prevents stomach contents from regurgitating into the

esophagus, thus protecting the esophageal mucosa from the erosive effect of stomach acid.

“Heartburn” is the burning sensation produced by acid reflux into the esophagus. When this

does not close properly, stomach contents flow backward, causing gastroesophageal reflux


Abed, M. N., Alassaf, F. A., Jasim, M. H., Alfahad, M., & Qazzaz, M. E. (2020). Comparison of antioxidant effects of the proton pump-inhibiting drugs omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, and rabeprazole. Pharmacology105(11-12), 645-651.

Boland, M. (2016). Human digestion–a processing perspective. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture96(7), 2275–2283.

Cheng, H. M., Mah, K. K., & Seluakumaran, K. (2020). Oesophageal Sphincters: Upper Oesophageal Sphincter and Lower Oesophageal Sphincter. In Defining Physiology: Principles, Themes, Concepts. Volume 2 (pp. 7-9). Springer, Cham.

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