Treatment Options for GERD

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is where stomach acid flows back into our esophagus. The esophagus is the tube connecting our mouth to the stomach. This backflow of acid to our mouth causes irritation and discomfort. Acid reflux is something faced by most of us. However, it is GERD when it occurs more frequently (mostly daily).

What Causes Pain?

GERD can cause a burning sort of sensation in our chest and can also cause chest pain. Sometimes it may also cause trouble in swallowing. It leads to reoccurring cough and asthma. You should immediately see a doctor to get yourself treated.


The doctor performs various tests to confirm the diagnosis. It includes upper endoscopy, in which the doctor inserts a tube down your throat with a light and camera fixed. It is easier this way to look inside your throat and examine it.

It is sometimes responsible for the collection of tissues to do a further test. An X-ray of the upper digestive system is another major procedure for understanding the situation. Here, the doctor takes a look at the esophagus and the stomach. After the diagnosis is confirmed, we can move on to the treatments.

Treatment of GERD

Some treatments include over-the-counter medication like antacids for the neutralization of the acids in the stomach. Antacids generally contain some type of mild bases, like calcium carbonate. You can also opt for medication to reduce the production of excessive acids in your stomach. Some of its prominent examples include nizatidine, famotidine, and cimetidine.

Medications for GERD

Sometimes, these medications are not sufficient for getting ourselves better and fit. During those situations, we need other substitutions like a different prescribed medication by specialists.

Some effective medicines include

  • Lansoprazole,

  • omeprazole,

  • pantoprazole,

  • etc.

However, some side effects to these medicines have seen

  • including diarrhea,

  • nausea, and

  • headaches.

GERD is a type of disease that can be controlled easily through medication. Still, sometimes in extreme cases, doctors suggest various surgeries as the best option when medication does not seem to work. This includes fundoplication. It is a surgery where the surgeon very smartly wraps the top part of the stomach with the lower esophageal to prevent reflux. It is done through the famous laparoscopic procedure. It is one of the best procedures and is mainly suggested by surgeons. Another method is called “TIF. Transoral incisionless fundoplication” and is a new procedure. It is primarily performed through the mouth using the endoscope and doesn’t require any incision.

Most surgeries are low-risk, and most people have made quick recoveries. Bariatric surgery is also a type of surgery for GERD and obesity. It is a gastric bypass surgery that helps to manage weight and further reduce GERD symptoms.

Some other lifestyle changes can also be made to reduce the symptoms. Losing weight in the case, one suffers from obesity. This significant factor helps provide various benefits and reduce overall GERD symptoms. Another suggestion is to quit smoking if someone’s a smoker. This again provides more of a relief for us. Changing our eating habits and diets, including avoiding consuming too much spicy food. We should also avoid fried stuff as it can lead to further acidity. Some of these small lifestyle changes can bring about significant changes.

Lifestyles and Home Remedies

You may take various actions, either medicine or treatment, to decrease or eradicate GERD effects. 

  • Reduce your body weight − When much abdominal fat pulls on the belly, acids can flow entering the esophagus. If you are overweight, the physician might advise patients to reduce fat using food and activity.

  • Dress comfortably − This might help to relieve strain on the stomach. Several foods should be avoided: Heartburn-causing foods and components includes alcohol, coffee, chocolates, fatty meals, french fries, ginger, mint, and citrus fruits.

  • Change your eating habits − Consume lighter portions more frequently, eat the food thoroughly, and eat gradually.

  • Do not lie back immediately after consuming − You should wait approximately 2 to three hrs after dining before lying down. Lying in bed with a filled belly puts additional strain on the lowered esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular rings which divide the gut and the esophagus.

  • Elevate your bed’s head − Ideally, the head of the headboard should be seven to ten inches higher than that of the bottom of the bed. It could be accomplished by inserting wooden or concrete slabs between the feet of the beds or by inserting a cushioned wedge beneath the top part of the mattresses. This type of inclination relieves stress on the lowers esophageal sphincter (LES) and makes it more difficult for belly materials to reach the esophagus.

  • Give up smoking − Tobacco impairs the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Chewing bubblegum or using oral lozenges can stimulate saliva formation. It might also aid in the removal of gastric acid that also had reached the esophagus.


The most excellent frequent digestive issue for whom individuals seek medical attention is GERD. About 10% of Americans experience everyday problems or use drugs to treat these problems. Antireflux operation done by skilled physicians and in correctly chosen individuals is a safe and successful choice for most people who cannot accept medicinal treatment or who have had inadequate or partial resolution of GERD signs following proper medical treatment.

Updated on: 08-Feb-2023


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