Font Size

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) FAQs (cont.)

How can I prevent symptoms of GERD?

The best and safest way to prevent reflux from occurring is to change the things that cause reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms usually can be prevented by simple lifestyle modifications in diet, activity, and habits. Watching what kinds of foods you eat and how much you eat can reduce your symptoms. Also, pay attention to your body position after eating. Don't lie down. Limit alcohol intake, quit smoking, and lose weight to improve not only your GERD symptoms but also your overall health.

Will I have to take medication for the rest of my life?

Probably not. It depends how well lifestyle changes control your reflux.

What happens if I stop GERD treatment?

Most cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease get better with lifestyle modifications, antacids, or prescription drugs. However, relapse is common when treatment is stopped.

What will happen if GERD is not treated?

Serious complications, such as bleeding or difficulty swallowing, can occur, although they are rare. Other possible problems caused by acid back-up include inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), throat, voice box, and airways. If left untreated for years, it is possible but not proven that GERD can lead to cancer of the esophagus.

What does acid reflux look like (pictures)?

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus.

Picture of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux disease, heartburn)
Picture of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux disease, heartburn)


"Diet & Lifestyle Changes." International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Inc. 12 September 2014. 10 October 2015

"Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Barrett's Esophagus and Ablation Therapies." American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. August 2014. 10 October 2015

"Reduce Heartburn by Burning Calories." International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. 12 September 2014. 10 October 2015<\>>.

Marco G Patti, MD. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Medscape, Apr 16, 2015

"Definition and Facts for Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)." Nov 13, 2015

"Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. "The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Oct 10, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/19/2015

Must Read Articles Related to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) FAQs

Acid Reflux (GERD)
Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) Acid reflux (GERD) is caused by acid backing up from the stomach. Causes of acid reflux include learn more >>
Anatomy of the Digestive System
Anatomy of the Digestive System Digestion is the process in which food is broken into smaller pieces so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and provide energy. The digestive syste...learn more >>
Asthma FAQ
Asthma FAQs Asthma is a disease that affects the breathing passages, or airways, of the lungs. Asthma is a chronic (ongoing, long-term) inflammatory disease that causes dif...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about GERD FAQs (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease):

GERD FAQs - Experience

Please share your experience with GERD.

GERD FAQs - Cause

If known, what caused your heartburn or GERD?

GERD FAQs - Lifestyle Changes

What lifestyle changes have you been able to incorporate into your daily lives?

GERD FAQs - Experience

Please share your experience with GERD.

GERD FAQs - Symptoms

What symptoms other than heartburn do you have with GERD?

GERD FAQs - Lifestyle Changes

Please share the lifestyle changes you have found to be helpful in treating GERD and its symptoms?

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 »

Medical Dictionary