How is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease treated?

The GI doctor I saw prescribed two different medications. I was having bad reaction to the medicine and felt the only thing the GI doctor was doing was medicating me. I decided to go to another GI doctor and who prescribed a different medication to help with the discomfort of the burning, which I only experience in my throat. I still don’t have any resolution to this problem and am really frustrated.

A patient’s description of symptoms will normally cause a doctor to suspect a peptic ulcer. To compensate for this, the stomach produces more acid, and this irritates the stomach lining. The bacteria also weaken the defense system of the stomach and causes inflammation. Patients with peptic ulcers caused by H. pylori need treatment to get rid of the bacterium from the stomach, and to prevent them coming back.

Wish me luck. Then the attacks started. With a sore tummy, painful to eat or drink, and constant heartburn, I had gone back to the doctor several times.

GERD symptoms and gender differences

I always had stomach aches as a child. As a young adult, the heartburn became like an inner furnace in my chest. Then I was pregnant and so when I complained to the doctor I was told that it is a fact of life because of my situation. Living on antacids became routine.

Some of these changes are difficult for many people to make. Talk to your health-care professional if you need some tips on losing weight or quitting smoking.

Surgery is reserved for the rare patient who may not be able to take medications or has developed significant regurgitation despite lifestyle modifications. The most commonly performed procedure is the Nissen fundoplication. Although effective in a select group of patients, this procedure is associated with troublesome and often non-reversible post-operative symptoms such as abdominal bloating and gas, early satiety, diarrhea as well as surgical complications. In some studies, up to 65% of patients continue to require further acid reducing therapy despite successful surgery. Newer endoscopic approaches to the management of GERD are being developed for this group of patients.

To allow for easier, pain-free digestion, eat smaller portions throughout the day, instead of filling up at two or three large meals. Smaller portions will also make it easy to control your caloric intake – another factor in acid reflux. It’s disappointing but true – fatty, greasy foods like burgers and fries can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Fats cause your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, allowing food to travel back up the esophagus and into your throat. At the same time, they delay stomach emptying, leaving a longer window of time in which partially digested food can cause problems.

Unlike most previous studies that specifically included either over-weight or severely obese populations only, we included both over-weight and obese subjects (BMI 25-39.9) but the majority were healthy and required a clearance letter from their primary care physicians for participating in the study; hence study results may not be generalized to all overweight, obese individuals. In the current study, subjects lost weight by combination of dietary, behavioral, and physical activity changes; therefore the contribution of each modality separately on GERD symptoms could not be evaluated. Finally, although, we used a validated questionnaire (RDQ) for diagnosing and monitoring GERD symptoms, endoscopy and/or pH monitoring was not performed. Despite these limitations, the results of this prospective study are highly suggestive of obesity as a major contributor to GERD and that weight loss can lead to resolution of GERD symptoms in the majority of overweight and/or obese subjects. The large patient population, evaluation of both men and women, use of a structured weight loss program and an objective, validated symptom questionnaire are strengths of our study.

But, he notes, if these seem to be making the symptoms worse, then stop taking them, since low stomach acid could be the culprit. For years, I was convinced my stomach hated me. Much like most people in my family (my parents bought the jumbo size of antacids monthly), I thought I had excess stomach acid, which led to the usual burning sensation after eating, bloating and general discomfort.

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