What GERD treatment options are available? Are there dietary and lifestyle changes to make? Or, do I have to rely on medications or surgery?
Yes, there are dietary and lifestyle modifications that can help with GERD symptoms. The most common symptoms of GERD are heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain. Avoiding trigger foods like spicy foods, tomato based sauces, fried foods, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine can help to reduce or eliminate GERD symptoms in some patients. Also not eating for several hours before bedtime and sleeping with the head of your bed elevated to 30 degrees can help with nighttime symptoms.
Other patients might need medication to help with their GERD symptoms, however it is important to remember that the medications do not stop the reflux, they just make it hurt less. Medication may reduce your symptoms for a period of time but over time some patients require higher doses or multiple medications to control their symptoms as the disease progresses. The esophagus can get damaged over time from GERD. Talk with your physician about what is the best treatment option for your GERD.
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