I am a sufferer of GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, or better known as acid reflux disease). GERD patients know that the symptoms of this disease are unbearable. Years of GERD gave me many nights of interrupted sleep with middle-of-the-night awakening, sore throat, water brash, choking from own gastric juice, chronic cough and heart burn.
GERD is relatively common in which acid backup from the stomach irritates the esophagus to cause inflammation. Normally, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) prevents stomach acid from flowing backward into the esophagus, the wrong way. In patients with GERD, the LES relaxes too frequently, and acid reflux results. Left untreated, serious complications such as esophageal stricture, bleeding, or Barrett’s esophagus (precancerous condition) may occur.
As a physician, I have treated many GERD patients. Allopathic medicine advices patients to try diet modification, weight and postural adjustment, proton pump inhibitors and prokinetic agents besides surveillance endoscopy for Barrett’s esophagus. Surgical treatment like Endoscopic Antireflux Device (Plicator II) is one of the FDA approved albeit invasive treatment. However despite trying all noninvasive treatments over the years, I was never really completely free of symptom (and so were many of my patients).
I have known Dr Lai Jun Min to be one of the forerunners of Fat Stem Cell Grafting and Regenerative Medicine in Malaysia. She has personally seen PRP (platelet rich plasma) plus probiotics treatment for GERD as a promising treatment for GERD and gastritis, with a curative rate close to 100%. Although probiotics have long been an effective natural remedy for GERD, there isn’t any large randomized control trials to compare the effectiveness of PRP plus probiotics versus conventional allopathic treatment. However the overwhelming positive results amongst treated patients piqued my curiosity about PRP. PRP contains numerous growth factors and cytokines which act as anti-inflammatory agent and promote healing of damaged mucosal surface.
On Dr Lai Jun Min’s suggestion I decided to undergo PRP plus probiotics treatment for GERD. This straight forward procedure was minimally invasive and was completed in less than two hours. The rest of my GERD story was a history: for the first time in years I was able to sleep through the night lying only on one pillow. Now a symptom free patient myself, I would not hesitate to recommend this treatment to my GERD patients in future.