You have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition where food or liquid travels backwards from the stomach to the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach).
You may have had tests to help your doctor diagnose your GERD or complications you have from it.
You can make many lifestyle changes to help treat your symptoms. Avoid foods that cause problems for you.
Other lifestyle tips that may make your symptoms better are:
Avoid drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve pain. Take any of your medicines with plenty of water. When your doctor gives you new medicines, remember to ask if it will make your heartburn worse.
Try these tips before going to sleep:
Antacids can help neutralize your stomach acid. They do not help to treat the irritation in your esophagus. Common side effects of antacids include diarrhea or constipation. See also: Taking antacids
Other over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs can treat GERD. They work more slowly than antacids but give you longer relief. Your doctor or nurse can tell you how to take these drugs. There are two different types of these drugs:
You will have follow-up visits with your doctor to check your esophagus. You may also need to have dental check-ups. GERD can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away.
Call your doctor or nurse if you have:
Peptic esophagitis - discharge; Reflux esophagitis - discharge; GERD - discharge; Heartburn - chronic - discharge
Kahrilas PJ, Shaheen NJ, Vaezi MF, et al. American Gastroenterological Medical Position Statement on the management of gastroesphageal reflux disease. Gastroenterology 2008; 135(4):1383-1391.
Richter JE, Friedenbert FK. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 43.
Wilson, J F. In the clinic. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(3): ITC2-1-15; quiz ITC2-16
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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