Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is an uncomfortable condition that requires a doctor’s diagnosis. To get a diagnosis, however, is not straightforward. Your doctor may carry out an upper endoscopy with a tube down your throat, a probe test with a catheter in your nose, an esophageal manometry, or a digestive x-ray. With either option, you may feel discomfort.
However, once you receive a diagnosis of GERD, or acid reflux, you will be pleased to know there are options on the table for rectifying the problem.
One of the first treatment methods your doctor will likely prescribe is antacids. These over-the-counter medications can help to neutralize your stomach acid, offering quick relief in the process. However, they don’t heal an inflamed esophagus, nor do they help with any esophageal damage. They can also have side effects such as diarrhea.
Available by prescription or over the counter, acid-reducing medication features receptor blockers which help to stop your stomach producing as much acid. They don’t work as fast as antacids but last longer.
Medication for blocking acid works differently from acid-reducing medication. It prevents the production of acid altogether, allowing the tissue of your esophagus to heal. They are also called proton pump inhibitors.
Surgical options are available for extreme cases. There are two procedures known as LINX device and Fundoplication. Fundoplication involves wrapping the top of your stomach around your esophageal sphincter, preventing reflux and tightening the muscles. The LINX device, however, is a ring of magnetic beads which keeps the stomach and esophagus junction closed to acid but still open enough for the digestion of food.
GERD is uncomfortable for everyone who gets it, but a trip to the doctor will open the doors of opportunity for several different treatment options.