Treatment for GERD

When you’ve been properly diagnosed and told that you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), you’ll want to seek out your various treatment options – and those will include medications (over the counter and prescribed), lifestyle changes, alternative treatments and even surgery.

The first thing you’ll want to do is see what kinds of over the counter remedies help you with your symptoms. Everyone is different. For you, a simple antacid like Tums might work – while for others, it’s ineffective or not long lasting.

You may need to see your doctor for a stronger prescription-strength remedy such as an H-2 receptor blocker. The drawback is that they take longer to work, but the positive side of it is they work longer, so the relief isn’t short-lived. There are also proton pump inhibitors that downplay acid production so your body can recover from the irritation.

Some medicines work to build the muscle back into your LES (lower esophageal sphincter). They’re called prokinetic agents. They work to strengthen the seal between the esophagus and stomach, and help your body process food faster.

Even if the medicine is controlling the issue, your doctor will most likely recommend some lifestyle changes. You’ll need to lose weight is you’re obese, avoid foods and beverages that contribute to your heartburn, and eat smaller, more frequent meals.

The doctor will tell you to wear loose fitting clothes that don’t bind your abdomen – and leave plenty of time between your last meal and the hour when you go to bed and have to lie down. There are also pillows that help alleviate GERD symptoms that you can buy online.

If you smoke, it will be a good idea to eliminate that for your GERD treatment. Smoking weakens the LES and contributes to the recurrence of food and stomach acid (including bile on occasion) reentering your esophagus.

Many reflux disease sufferers take part in using alternative methods to treat their symptoms. You might see if any herbal remedies help, such as licorice or chamomile. Begin practicing stress relief measures, such as meditation or acupuncture.

A last resort that you may want to consider is surgery. Doctors can strengthen the LES by reinforcing it with stomach tissue. Or, they can insert an Esophyx to literally replace the LES.

A Linx is sometimes used – which means a magnetic beaded device helps control the passage of food, keeping out stomach acid and preventing GERD.

Some GERD victims opt for a treatment where they scar your esophageal tissue (known as the Stretta procedure) and help combat the effects of acidic irritation.

Learn more here about What is Acid Reflux and Heartburn?


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