GERD and Healing
Many people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are interested in treating their symptoms of GERD and healing the damage caused by it. Treatment options include medication, diet and lifestyle changes, and surgery. Most people find that a combination of treatment options provides both short- and long-term relief from GERD and healing of the esophagus.
An Overview of GERD
If you have heartburn two or more times a week, or if your over-the-counter heartburn remedies no longer provide relief, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition usually occurs when there is a problem with the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. When this happens, acidic stomach juices can flow back up into the esophagus more frequently than normal, leading to symptoms like chest pain. Over time, GERD can lead to:
- The formation of ulcers
- Scarring and narrowing of the esophagus.
GERD and HealingIf you have GERD, you have a choice of several treatment options. The one recommended by your healthcare provider will depend on a number of factors, such as how severe your symptoms are, when they occur, how much they interfere with your life, and what you have tried in the past.
Specific GERD treatment options include:
- Diet and lifestyle changes
GERD and Healing: MedicationAs part of your GERD treatment, your doctor may prescribe medications that lower the amount of acid produced by your stomach. Other medications can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to contract more, helping to close off the opening between the esophagus and the stomach.
(Click Medication for GERD to learn more about specific GERD medications.)