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Sharon Gillson

The Basics of GERD

By May 19, 2014

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GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents reflux back up into the esophagus.

Heartburn and acid regurgitation are the main symptoms of GERD, though some people with GERD don't experience any heartburn episodes. This is why it's important to know all the possible symptoms of GERD.

While the majority of doctors will prescribe a trial of acid-suppressive therapy, and make a diagnosis based on the patient's response to this, there are tests to diagnose GERD a doctor may want to have performed.

Treatment for GERD will usually start with certain lifestyle modifications and dietary changes. If you continue to have symptoms after these modifications, your physician will discuss with you the use of antacids, H2 blockers, and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). If your physician and you decide a surgical option is needed, the most common surgical treatment for GERD is the fundoplications surgery. Another procedure sometimes used in the treatment of GERD is the radiofrequency treatment.

When were you diagnosed with GERD? Please take a moment to answer in the poll below. If you would like to share your story on what symptoms led to your GERD diagnosis, you can do so here.

March 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm
(1) David Robinson says:

I had terrible heartburn and was getting worried about my health (I was only in my 20′s) but the solution turned out to be a simple one for me.

As you mention dietary and lifestyle changes should be the first step and diet was the key for me. My issue was lactose intolerance, as soon as I cut out milk my heartburn was cured overnight!

I strongly urge anyone with heartburn or related digestive issues to clean up their diet first before going down the route of potentially harmful medicines or blockers.

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