Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment
There are four approaches for gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment, including medication and surgery. Often, patients respond well to a combination of lifestyle changes and a medication regimen.
Some patients do not find satisfactory relief from those methods and require surgical intervention. Other patients may choose surgery as an alternative to a lifetime of taking medication.
What You Should Know About Gerd
Burp. We all do it, no matter our age. Sometimes our mouths have an acidic taste afterward, or we feel a burning sensation in our chest. In many cases, gastroesophageal reflux is sending acidic stomach juices, food, or fluids up from your stomach into your esophagus, and then to your throat and mouth, giving you a sour taste. When this happens repeatedly, over a long period of time, its called chronic acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease or simply GERD which, left untreated, can pose a host of potential problems.
Diet Changes For Gerd
Proper treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease always begins with a visit to a healthcare professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis. It is important to recognize that chronic reflux does not get better on its own. Over-the-counter remedies may provide short-term symptom relief, but can mask an underlying disease if used long-term.
Symptoms of GERD
Just about everyone has had heartburn that uncomfortable burning feeling in the chest after eating a heavy meal at some point in their life. But, while occasional heartburn is nothing to worry about, heartburn that occurs more than once a week, becomes more severe, or occurs at night and wakes you from sleep may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease . And, a visit to the doctor is advised.
Treatment for GERD may include medications advised by your doctor and certain diet and lifestyle changes. A combination of approaches, and some trial and error, may be necessary.
Diet and lifestyle changes often begin with what to avoid. These include things that can trigger or worsen symptoms.
Examples of things to reduce or steer clear of in your diet include:
- High fat foods
- Citrus and tomato products
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The Influence Of Acid Reflux Upon Weight Loss
The term acid reflux weight loss is commonly seen across the online community, and for good reason. Those who are able to make the correct lifestyle changes while embracing healthy eating habits are likely to alleviate the symptoms of GERD.
When this strategy is used in conjunction with the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon, the associated results can be phenomenal within a relatively short period of time. To be clear, dealing with heartburn will require time and patience. The good news is that modern technology is now capable of providing a sense of relief.
Why Did You Decide To Study Heartburn
When I was a fellow and trainee at Northwestern University, some of the best research focused on gastrointestinal motility and physiology. This refers to the contraction of the smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
What inspired me about this area is how logical it is. It uses laws of fluid dynamics and biomechanics.
It was also interesting to me because I come from a family of plumbers. In some ways, I feel like I stayed in the family business. I’m just a human plumber that tries to prevent clogs, blockages, and things from going backwards.
“For people on PPIs, never look at it as if you have to have this kind of treatment for the rest of your life.”
– John Pandolfino, M.D.
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A Few Lifestyle Changes Are Worth Trying Before Resorting To Drugs For Controlling Gastroesophageal Reflux
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
What Has Your Research Found
We can now help patients better understand why we have to keep them on medicineor don’t.
For example, for people who do not show any evidence of acid burden through capsule imaging, they can stop their PPIs.
We also found that in people who do have considerable acid burden, we could more easily identify who might need something more dramatic than PPIs, such as an endoscopic or surgical procedure to strengthen the reflux barrier.
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You May Not Need A Ppi
More than half of the people who take PPIs probably do not need them. Simple heartburn can be treated with antacids or other drugs, plus diet and lifestyle changes.
You may only have heartburn every now and thensuch as after a big, spicy meal. This may be uncomfortable, but it is not serious. You can usually get relief from an antacid, like Rolaids or Tums, or an H2 blocker, such as Pepcid AC or Zantac.
Benefits Of A Gerd Diet
The GERD diet focuses on eliminating food that can cause acid to come back up into your esophagus and cause you discomfort and possible health problems.
Specifically, this eating plan tries to avoid foods that
- Reduce pressure on the muscles between the esophagus and the stomach
- Slow down the movement of food from the stomach into the intestines
- Increase stomach acid
GERD happens when the muscles at the bottom of your esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter, get weak and stay too relaxed when they shouldn’t. That allows acid from your stomach to back up into your esophagus, causing ongoing symptoms such as heartburn, cough, and swallowing issues.
In more serious cases, GERD can cause other issues such as:
- Increased risk of esophageal cancer
The GERD diet helps your lower esophageal sphincter muscles work better and stay closed after you eat, so you’ll have fewer of these issues.
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Adding The Right Foods
Among the foods the GERD diet recommends you eat more is fiber.
In a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, people with heartburn who had low-fiber diets were given 15 grams of a psyllium fiber supplement each day. After starting the extra fiber, they had increased esophageal sphincter pressure, fewer incidents of acid backing up, and fewer heartburn symptoms.
A 2016 study published in Diseases of the Esophagus found that eating a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a lower risk of GERD. That makes sense because the Mediterranean diet is known for being lower in fatty meats and processed foods. It’s also higher in seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Both the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Gastroenterology recommend a diet-first approach to treating GERD.
In addition to improving your symptoms, this way of eating may lead to some weight loss. Being overweight puts you at a much higher risk of GERD, and research has found that losing weight is one of the best strategies to prevent the condition.
As little as a 10% reduction in weight improves GERD symptoms and often allows people to go off prescribed acid blocker medications .
Gerd Treatment: Lifestyle And Dietary Changes
Dietary and lifestyle changes are the first step in treating GERD. Certain foods make the reflux worse. Suggestions to help alleviate symptoms include:
- Lose weight if you are overweight of all of the lifestyle changes you can make, this one is the most effective.
- Avoid foods that increase the level of acid in your stomach, including caffeinated beverages.
- Avoid foods that decrease the pressure in the lower esophagus, such as fatty foods, alcohol and peppermint.
- Avoid foods that affect peristalsis , such as coffee, alcohol and acidic liquids.
- Avoid foods that slow gastric emptying, including fatty foods.
- Avoid large meals.
- Do not lie down immediately after a meal.
- Elevate the level of your head when you lie down.
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Change Your Sleeping Position
If you find yourself experiencing particularly severe heartburn symptoms when lying down in bed at night, then consider changing the way you sleep.
An acid reflux pillow can help put your body in an ideal position for relieving your symptoms at night. MedCline offers a patented three-component Sleep System that elevates your entire torso, helping to prevent stomach acid from seeping into your esophagus while you sleep. Its a product that can provide you with relief and keep you comfortable at the same time, allowing you to get the rest and relaxation that you need.
How Can You Prevent Heartburn
To prevent heartburn or stop it from starting, there are several methods you can try.
- Avoid eating right before bedtime. A bedtime snack may be tempting. But the ACG suggests that if you leave yourself at least 2 to 3 hours to digest before lying down, youll lower your risk of heartburn.
- Limit alcohol consumption. If you drink, reducing the amount you drink or eliminating alcoholic drinks from your routine can lower your heartburn risk.
- Watch out for trigger foods. Did you know that you can help stop acid reflux and heartburn by changing your diet? Foods to avoid include:
- spicy foods
- tomatoes, including products like tomato sauce
- acidic foods, like oranges, lemons, and limes
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What You Need To Form A Gerd Defense
In the DUI context, there are several main factors to consider in a GERD defense case, including:
- The GERD needs to be diagnosed by a medical professional.
- It is better that there is a confirmatory test, including an endoscopic examination, a biopsy, an x-ray, a 24-hour esophageal acid test, a 48-hour Bravo test, esophageal motility testing , emptying studies of the stomach, or esophageal acid perfusion .
- On the day of the breath test, there need to be triggers present, such as alcohol, spicy food, smoking, caffeine, carbonated drinks, etc.
- On the day and time of the breath test, there needs to be alcohol available in the subjects stomach to reflux, so the last drink needs to have been consumed close in time .
- Whether or not there are safeguards or countermeasures embedded in the breath-testing protocol of your state to help rule out a GERD defense.
Tell Us About Your Recent Research
We’ve been looking at how well diagnostic tests can identify specific markers and measurements that may help us predict who needs to reduce or increase their reflux therapy.
For example, we use a wireless capsule that monitors the overall acid burden over four days. You swallow it, and it safely travels through your digestive tract just like a piece of food.
This can help us predict who with heartburn symptoms actually needs a PPIor proton pump inhibitor. PPIs are a group of drugs whose main purpose is to reduce the production of stomach acid. We want to identify which patients can get off it in favor of other therapies and those who truly need it.
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When Should You Consider A Ppi
Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as trouble swallowing, weight loss, or chest pain. Call the doctor if you dont get better in about two weeks. The doctor will look for signs of problems such as GERD .
If you have GERD, you probably need a PPI. Talk to your doctor if:
- You have heartburn at least twice a week for several weeks.
- Food or acid often come back up into your throat.
- You take antacid or H2 blockers, and you make changes like the ones described on this page, but your heartburn does not go away.
If your doctor thinks you need a PPI:
- Ask to start with a low dose of generic prescription lansoprazole or omeprazole. You can also get these medicines over the counter.
- If the heartburn gets better after a few weeks, talk to your doctor about gradually lowering your dose.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
Take A Preventive Game Strategy On Heartburn Relief
DALLAS Jan. 30, 2019 Spicy, fatty, greasy food and excess alcohol may sound like a typical Super Bowl spread, but it also can be the recipe for heartburn. For decades, taking antacids after people already were experiencing heartburn was the only therapy available. Prevention is now emphasized, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center digestive experts.
If you know youre going to eat something that ordinarily gives you heartburn, there are medications you can take before eating that food that might help, says Dr. Deepak Agrawal, a digestive specialist at UT Southwestern.
You can try to avoid foods that cause heartburn cheesy, greasy, and fat-laden foods such as pizza, chili, wings, burgers, and nachos loaded with cheese. Fats promote heartburn. For example, they relax the sphincter in the lower esophagus and make it easier for acid to reflux into the esophagus, Dr. Agrawal says.
If you know youll be indulging, try an 2 blocker, which slows the production of stomach acid. They are generally available over the counter.
Most people suffering from heartburn will occasionally get it, says Dr. Agrawal, who specializes in gastroesophageal reflux . Those are the people who really benefit from this medication. You can take one of those pills a half hour before a meal, and you may be able to prevent the heartburn.
About UT Southwestern Medical Center
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Sip Apple Cider Vinegar In Water
Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy that some people use to treat heartburn. Some believe that drinking apple cider vinegar could improve your digestive health.
No solid evidence supports this claim yet, according to the Department of Defense Dietary Supplement Resource. But consuming small amounts of diluted apple cider vinegar is typically considered safe.
Drinking large amounts or undiluted vinegar can come with risks. These include damaging your teeth, hurting your throat, or even triggering acid reflux.
If you decide to try this remedy, dilute 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in an 8-ounce water and drink it after your meal.
Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.
However, large doses of ginger may actually cause heartburn or other problems, so use it in small amounts.
Its probably best to avoid ginger ale. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with ginger flavoring rather than the real thing.
When Should I Ask For Help With Managing Hiccups
If hiccups last for more than 48 hours, or if youre concerned about whats causing them or the effects that theyre having, speak to the persons GP or specialist. They can help assess and treat any reversible causes.
If no cause is found, they may be prescribed peppermint water, anti-sickness medicines or proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid, such as omeprazole.
Treatments should be reviewed after three days and if theres no improvement a specialist palliative care professional can assess and prescribe other medicines, including dopamine antagonists. Peppermint water should not be used if the person is taking medicines such as metoclopramide as they work in opposite ways.
If someone is in their last few days or hours of life a sedative such as midazolam can ease hiccups and make them feel more comfortable.
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Can Heartburn Be A Sign Of Something Serious
If you experience heartburn on a regular basis, it can eventually result in health problems, or even be a sign of a more urgent medical condition. For example, consistent irritation of your esophagus over a long period of time can lead to heavy inflammation that results in ulcers, which can cause health complications and serious issues like internal bleeding.
Additionally, if youre persistently bothered by heartburn symptoms and acid reflux and over-the-counter medications dont seem to make the condition any better, you could have a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease .
GERD is a chronic digestive disorder where stomach acid or bile backs up into the esophagus, causing painful burning sensations in the chest area. The pain it produces can be so intense in some cases that its misinterpreted as a heart attack or a symptom of heart disease. The symptoms of the disease are very similar to run-of-the-mill acid reflux, only it happens with far greater frequency, to the point where it can interfere with your day-to-day life.
People with asthma are more likely to develop GERD, but it can affect anyone, from infants to the elderly. While chest pain is the most telling symptom of GERD, there are also other less common symptoms such as:
- Difficulty swallowing