Get answers to your GERD/LERD questions.
Peptic esophagitis; Reflux esophagitis; GERD; Heartburn - chronic; Dyspepsia - GERD
To prevent heartburn, avoid foods and beverages that may trigger your symptoms. For many people, these include:
If other foods regularly give you heartburn, avoid those foods, too.
Also, try the following changes to your eating habits and lifestyle:
Over-the-counter antacids may be used after meals and at bedtime, although they do not last very long. Common side effects of antacids include diarrhea or constipation.
Other over-the-counter and prescription drugs can treat GERD. They work more slowly than antacids but give you longer relief. Your pharmacist, doctor, or nurse can tell you how to take these drugs.
Anti-reflux operations (Nissen fundoplication and others) may be an option for patients whose symptoms do not go away with lifestyle changes and drugs. Heartburn and other symptoms should improve after surgery, but you may still need to take drugs for your heartburn. There are also new therapies for reflux that can be performed through an endoscope (a flexible tube passed through the mouth into the stomach).
Most people respond to nonsurgical measures, with lifestyle changes and medications. However, many patients need to continue taking drugs to control their symptoms.
Call your health care provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve with lifestyle changes or medication.
Also call for any of the following symptoms:
Wang KK, Sampliner RE. Updated guidelines 2008 for the diagnosis, surveillance and therapy of Barrett's esophagus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2008;103(3):788-797.
Khan M, Santana J, Donnellan C, Preston C, Moayyedi P. Medical treatments in the short term management of reflux oesophagitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev(2). 2007;CD003244.
Wilson JF. In the clinic: gastroesophageal reflux disease. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(3):ITC2-1-ITC2-15.
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