GERD TREATMENT OPTIONS REFLUX TESTING AND TREATMENT

If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD, there are several approaches available to help manage your symptoms.

MANAGING YOUR GERD SYMPTOMS

If you have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) based on your symptoms or through objective reflux testing, there are several approaches available to help manage your symptoms. Many people can manage their GERD symptoms by making lifestyle changes or with over-the-counter medications. In some cases, some people may require stronger medications or surgery to relieve their symptoms.

Find a Doctor
Man leans over edge of bed to take pills while woman next to him sleeps.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR GERD

Often, physicians suggest lifestyle changes to relieve GERD symptoms.1

Recommended lifestyle changes may include:

  • Avoid foods and drinks that trigger symptoms
  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid eating less than three hours before bed

GERD MEDICATION

If you don’t experience relief within a few weeks of making the recommended lifestyle changes, your doctor might recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications for GERD.

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medications that reduce the production of acid in your stomach. However, PPIs are not always effective — approximately 30% of people with GERD do not respond to PPIs and continue to experience symptoms.2 For those people, the medication isn’t treating the real problem.

If you have been taking over the counter medications and continue to have symptoms, consult a gastroenterologist (GI).

Other medications that may help with management of GERD symptoms include:

  • Antacids — Over-the-counter medications that neutralize stomach acid
  • H2 Blockers — Medications that decrease production of acid by blocking the cells that release stomach acid

If you were diagnosed with GERD based on symptoms, take PPIs regularly, and still have reflux symptoms, speak to a gastroenterologist (GI) about a reflux test.

SURGERY FOR GASTROESOPAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE

GERD can often be controlled by lifestyle changes and medication. Your GI may recommend further interventional steps for patients whose symptoms are not relieved by medication or lifestyle changes.

Surgery may be recommended for some patients with GERD. There are different types of surgery available for patients and these can be discussed with your physician.4 One surgical procedure used to treat GERD is called laparoscopic fundoplication.

Find a Doctor

Information and resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Always discuss diagnosis and treatment information including risks with your doctor. Keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary.

1

Durko L, Malecka-Panas E. Lifestyle Modifications and Colorectal Cancer. Curr Colorectal Cancer Rep. 2014; 10(1):45–54.

2

Diseases and Conditions: GERD. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20025201. Accessed on December 15, 2016.

3

Vaezi M, Zehrai A, Yuksel E. Testing for refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease. ASGE Leading Edge. 2012;2(2):1-13. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

4

Heartburn/GERD Health Center. WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/treating-with-surgery. Accessed on December 15, 2016.