How do I Choose the Best Treatment for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, it is likely frustrating that widely available heartburn medications do not always solve the problem. Fortunately, there is a wide range of treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease, which means that you can try out several and decide on the methods that work best for you. One method that you can try at home includes making lifestyle changes to decrease the symptoms of GERD. You can also consider changing your diet, getting rid of foods that tend to bring on symptoms. If these do not work for you, it may be time to ask your doctor for medication that is made especially for this condition.

Changing your diet may be the easiest way to treat GERD, as it can be done gradually at home, and quickly reversed if it does not help. There are many beverages that should be avoided if you have this condition, including orange juice, milk, alcohol, coffee, and anything caffeinated or carbonated. Foods that contain chocolate, peppermint, excess fat, or are spicy should also be avoided. One thing that you can add to your diet is gum, as swallowing saliva often can actually help neutralize stomach acid that ends up in the esophagus, making this easy treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease worth a try.

One lifestyle change that is helpful for treating GERD is to stop lying down just after eating, and to also avoid exertion just after a meal. Try to stay upright for about three hours after eating, which means that you should consider eating dinner or nighttime snacks at least three hours before bedtime. Being overweight, stressed out, and smoking can all make the symptoms of this condition worse, which means that proper treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease may include avoiding any of these habits.

Some people do not want to have to change their diet or lifestyle, which is why one popular type of treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease includes medication. Antacids taken before each meal can work for most people with GERD, but severe cases often call for drugs that temporarily stop stomach acid from being produced at all, called H-2 blockers. If this kind of treatment for GERD does not work, even stronger drugs, called proton pump inhibitors, may be needed to stop the production of stomach acid permanently. You do not always need a prescription for any of these medications, but it is still usually good to see a doctor to help determine the best treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease in your situation.

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