Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) FAQs (cont.)
Kathryn L Hale, MS, PA-C
Vincent W Yang, MD, PhD
Simmy Bank, MD, MB, ChB
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
BS Anand, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
What is the treatment for GERD?
The goals of treating gastroesophageal reflux disease are reducing reflux, relieving symptoms, and preventing damage to the esophagus. Your health care provider may recommend treating GERD in a stepwise fashion. For mild symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough. The next step is nonprescription antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids. Other treatments include acid blockers and even surgery. In most cases, one or more of these treatments provide relief from GERD and prevent it from turning into a more serious disease.
I take nonprescription antacids when I have symptoms, but they don't seem to help.
Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for GERD. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can't stop the symptoms. Your health care provider will probably recommend that you make changes in your lifestyle as well.
What kind of lifestyle changes are we talking about?
Any of the following may reduce your symptoms significantly:
Some of these changes are difficult for many people to make. Talk to your health care provider if you need some tips on losing weight or quitting smoking. Knowing that your symptoms will get better may keep you motivated.
Will these lifestyle changes stop the symptoms?
They may. If they don't, adding a nonprescription antacid or acid blocker can be helpful.
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