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Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) (cont.)

Acid Reflux (GERD) Prognosis

Reflux disease (GERD) is treatable, but relapses are common, especially if you do not change your lifestyle.

  • For people with mild-to-moderate disease (grades 1-2), home care and H2-blockers are generally effective.
  • Severe esophagitis (grades 3-4) usually requires PPI therapy.
  • If relapses occur, long-term therapy or surgery will be necessary to avoid complications.

Complications of acid reflux can include any of the following. Most of these are rare, but GERD can be the first step toward any of them. The best treatment for any of these is prevention.

  • Esophagitis and esophageal ulcers:  Inflammation, irritation of the lining of the esophagus
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux: When acid from the stomach gets into the throat, the voice becomes hoarse.
  • Bleeding: Due to ulcers in the damaged esophageal lining
  • Strictures: Narrowing of the esophagus due to chronic scarring
  • Swallowing problems: Due to strictures
  • Respiratory problems: When acid from the stomach gets into the breathing passages
  • Barrett esophagus: Changes in the cells lining the esophagus, a precancerous condition
  • Cancer of the esophagus: Has a very low incidence rate

Acid Reflux (GERD) Pictures

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus.

Picture of Acid Reflux (GERD)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/13/2013
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Acid Reflux (GERD):

GERD - Proton Pump Inhibitors

Heartburn symptoms caused by GERD are usually relieved by drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, Protonix, Nexium, Zegerid; however, sometimes they do not work well. Can you please describe your GERD symptoms that did not improve on PPIs? Did you find other treatments effective?

GERD - Symptoms and Signs

What were your GERD symptoms and signs?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease »

Gastroesophageal reflux is a normal physiological phenomenon experienced intermittently by most people, particularly after a meal.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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