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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Information

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus more frequently than normal. The acid reflux can irritate the esophagus lining. Experiencing GERD once in a blue moon is relatively common. In fact, GERD can occur at least twice weekly as slight acid reflux. If GERD cannot be managed by diet and lifestyle changes, some individuals may need stronger GERD medication or surgery to relieve symptoms.

What Causes GERD?

GERD occurs from consistent acid reflux. You’ll experience a frequent backwash of stomach acid irritating and inflaming the esophagus lining. The factors that can increase your likelihood of developing GERD include:

  • Obesity
  • Stomach bulge into the diaphragm
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Eating late at night or eating large meals
  • Eating fatty or fried foods
  • Specific medications
  • Drinking alcohol or coffee

GERD Treatment

It’s highly likely that you’ll be advised to first modify your lifestyle and take medications to relieve GERD symptoms. However, if you do not experience any relief, you may be recommended the following treatment solutions:

 

  • Antacids: Antacids that can neutralize stomach acids, such as Mylanta or Rolaids, may provide temporary relief.
  • H-2 prescription receptor blockers: Prescription-strength medications, such as famotidine, nizatidine or ranitidine, can be an effective GERD solution.
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs):  These are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion and are commonly prescribed for GERD treatment.  PPIs include medications such as omeprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole, and more.

 

Medication that strengthens the esophageal sphincter: Medications, such as Baclofen, can ease GERD symptoms by reducing the frequency of how often the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes.

 


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