GERD Treatment Options at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Frisco
Chronic heartburn may be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, a condition in which stomach contents leak backward into the esophagus. It is generally treated by lifestyle changes and medication. Surgery is an option if other treatments don’t control your symptoms. Normally, after swallowing, a valve between the esophagus and the stomach opens to allow food to pass, then it closes to prevent stomach contents from “refluxing” back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest. For people who suffer from GERD, the valve is dysfunctional and unable to prevent acid from refluxing into the esophagus.
Do You Have GERD?
If you have heartburn or reflux twice a week or more, you may have GERD. Heartburn is the most common symptom, but you may also experience:
• Hoarseness or sore throat
• Frequent swallowing
• Asthma or asthma-like symptoms
• Pain or discomfort in the chest
• Sleep disruption
• Excessive clearing of the throat
• Persistent cough
• Burning in the mouth or throat
• Intolerance of certain foods
• Dental erosions or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation
Diet & Lifestyle Changes
You may be able to prevent heartburn by avoiding the foods and beverages that seem to trigger your symptoms. For some people, these include carbonated beverages, chocolate, citrus, tomatoes, and spicy or fatty foods.
Symptom Relief through Medication
You can try over-the-counter antacids, although they may not control your symptoms for very long. Other over-the-counter and prescription drugs also can treat GERD.
When to Consider Surgery
If changing your lifestyle and taking medication doesn’t work, anti-reflux surgery may be an option for you to consider. Heartburn, regurgitation and other symptoms typically get much better after surgery, but you may still need medication to control heartburn.