Medications Used in GERD Treatment
As part of your GERD
treatment, your doctor may need to prescribe medications that lower the amount of acid your stomach produces. Other medications can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to contract more, helping to close off the opening between the esophagus and the stomach.
Sometimes, it's actually another medicine you are already taking that is causing the problem. In these cases, you may be able to stop taking such a medication. However, this depends on what the medication is and why you need to take it. For these reasons, the decision to stop taking a drug should be discussed with your doctor first.
Treating GERD With Surgery
If a combination of dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and treatment with drugs is not effective, surgery may be recommended. This surgery, known medically as "fundoplication," is a procedure in which the lower esophageal sphincter is tightened. This surgery can be done with laparoscopic techniques (a special video camera is used), which often leave smaller scars. There are also a couple of newer options available for people considering GERD surgery.
While having heartburn
can be uncomfortable, it's rarely life-threatening. However, symptoms of GERD
can significantly reduce the quality of your life. The treatment you choose may depend on how frequent and how serious your symptoms are, and how much they interfere with your life. Most people are able to find some combination of lifestyle changes and medications that they can use for short- and long-term treatment of their GERD symptoms.