The simplest non-surgical GERD treatment option as well as the safest is modifications of a patient’s lifestyle. Losing weight, eating small meals, not eating before bedtime, elevation the head of the bed and other small changes can make a real difference in the severity of acid reflux symptoms. Our staff understands and works with our patients on utilizing these changes; however, most of our patients need something more.
The most common treatment of GERD is taking medications to improve symptoms. There are a host of medications available both over the counter and by prescription that all function the same way. These GERD treatments either neutralize or decrease the production of stomach acid. These drugs include over-the-counter antacids such as Tums® and H2 blockers such as Zantac® and Pepcid®, and the most powerful prescription acid suppressants called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), such as Nexium®, Prilosec® and others.
While these medications control symptoms in many people, they must be taken correctly and for life under the care of a knowledgeable physician. They can have short-term side effects such as headache, diarrhea and abdominal pain, and over the long term they may increase the risk of hip fractures, cause low magnesium levels in the blood and increase the risk of certain types of pneumonia and a severe type of colon infection.
The staff at our Heartburn Solutions Center understands how to utilize these non-surgical GERD treatment medications in a way that is safe and provides the best relief possible. In addition, before being placed on a medicine, we make sure they are needed and work with our patients to determine whether this medical therapy is best for them. When indicated, we offer the proper testing to confirm the diagnosis of acid reflux and ensure that these medications provide you maximal benefit.
If you are ready to learn more about non-surgical GERD treatment options, call us at 404.501.RFLX (7359).