Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Most individuals can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and OTC medications.
- Many individuals experience acid reflux from time to time.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is mild acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week or moderate to severe acid reflux that occurs at least once a week.
- Most individuals can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and OTC medications. But some individuals with GERD may need stronger medications or surgery to ease symptoms.
- Symptoms may include a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, and the sensation of a lump in the throat.
- Risk factors may include certain foods, connective tissue disorders, delayed stomach emptying, eating large meals, obesity, pregnancy, or smoking.
- Diagnosis tools include ambulatory acid probe test, esophageal manometry, upper endoscopy, and x-ray.
- Treatment includes antacids such as Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums. They also include medications such as H2-receptor blockers cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), and nizatidine (Axid). Proton pump inhibitors may also be used, such as Prevacid and Prilosec.