GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is caused by stomach acid splashing into the esophagus
What you should know:
• A condition in which stomach acid splashes into the esophagus
•Symptoms include frequent heartburn and acid regurgitation
•Lifestyle changes, OTC antacids, can provide quick relief
•GI and Digestive videos, http://www.youtube.com/user/CVSPharmacyVideos#grid/user/4CE34286BBBA4356
Related Health Articles:
•IBS: Symptoms and Treatment
Do you have frequent bouts of constipation alternating with diarrhea? Have you periodically experienced abdominal pain, gas, painful cramping, bloating, nausea, and loss of appetite for no apparent reason? If so, you may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)...Read More: http://bit.ly/94v3ZL
What is GERD? GERD is the acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition in which stomach acid frequently splashes into the esophagus... Read More: http://bit.ly/d9awom
•Heartburn: Symptoms and Treatment
Lying down after a big meal, you feel a burning pain in the center of your chest. Before long, the fire spreads upward to your neck. The pain eventually dies down, but not before you curse that third helping...Read More: http://bit.ly/dbn64n
•Freeing Yourself from Digestive Distress
Even those who aren't enamored with food but eat simply because it's necessary may wolf down their lunch only to find it biting back a couple hours later. And what do too many of us do when our stomachs bloat, cramp, or send us running to the bathroom? We reach for an elixir, a mint, pill or potion to tame the unquiet tummy... Read More: http://bit.ly/axjJg9
Hi, I'm Greg Collins and I'm a CVS pharmacist. GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition in which stomach acid frequently splashes into the esophagus, a tube that food passes through from your mouth to your stomach. Because the esophagus isn't equipped to handle stomach acid, GERD often causes burning pain and discomfort. Over time, it can cause lasting damage.
The most common symptoms of GERD are frequent heartburn attacks that flare up after meals and last as long as two hours, and acid regurgitation. More unusual symptoms are increased salivating, trouble swallowing, and feeling like you have a lump in your throat.
Luckily there are certain lifestyle changes that may ease the pain and reduce occurrences. Avoid food that may cause stomach upset such as fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, citrus fruit or juices, tomato-based products, alcohol, and spicy foods. Eat small meals, and don't lie down within three hours of a meal. If heartburn bothers you at night, try raising the head of the bed six inches and sleeping on your left side. Don't smoke. Maintain a healthy weight. Get 30 minutes of exercise daily, but go easy on activities that involve bouncing or jumping as they may aggravate the condition.
Aside from lifestyle changes, over-the-counter antacids or acid blockers can help. Antacids bring quick relief at the first sign of symptoms, but do not cure GERD, and frequent doses can cause diarrhea and other side effects. Acid blockers can prevent future attacks and break your antacid habit.
If nothing seems to work, your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength acid blocker or a proton-pump inhibitor. These are generally safe and easy to take. A few patients develop headaches or diarrhea. Less common side effects include nausea, gas, abdominal pain, constipation, and dry mouth. If these fail to control your heartburn, or if your symptoms come back as soon as you stop taking medications, surgery may be your best chance for relief.
I hope this has helped you better understand what GERD is and how to treat it. If you have questions, talk to your CVS pharmacist. We're here to help.
Source: CVS Caremark Health Resources