Treatments for Heartburn & GERD (Part 4 of 4) HealthiNation


Uploaded by HealthiNation on 16.03.2012

Transcript:
Treating heartburn and GERD generally involves "over the counter" and prescription medications.
For occasional cases of mild heartburn, "over the counter" remedies may work best.
The first treatment might be antacids, which neutralizes stomach acid and can provide quick
relief.
Now you might require a stronger medication if you have GERD. These medications can help
reduce or eliminate GERD symptoms, as well as help heal an inflamed esophagus - which
can happen after repeated exposure to stomach acid.
A stronger form of antacid is called an H-2-Receptor Blocker. They can actually reduce the production
of acid in your stomach. They are available in over the counter and prescription strength
for GERD. They don't act as quickly as antacids, but they do last longer.
These can be taken to prevent heartburn by taking it before a meal or at bedtime, OR
they can be used to treat heartburn once you already have the symptoms.
Proton pump inhibitors are another type of therapy. These medications can block acid
production completely and allow time for a damaged esophagus to heal. This medication
was only available by prescription, but is now also available in an over-the-counter
strength.
These, like all medications, can cause some side effects, so talk to your doctor about
which option is best for you.
If have a severe case of GERD, your doctor may recommend surgery. The most common procedure
is called fundoplication surgery, which applies pressure to the LES valve and reduces reflux.
In many cases this can be done without large incisions during a laparoscopic operation.
It's important to know that the symptoms of heartburn can mimic other more serious problems,
including heart attacks. So if your symptoms seem like more than just reflux, or if you’re
losing weight or having trouble swallowing, you should discuss it with your doctor.
Now that you know the symptoms and triggers of heartburn, you can take action and prevent
flare ups. Remember, watch for the signs of GERD, and if you think you have it, see your
doctor.
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