Is GERD Curable?

Is GERD Curable?

Chronic acid reflux, or GERD, is a condition in which the acid from the stomach leaks back up into the esophagus, causing unpleasant symptoms such as a sour and bitter taste in the mouth, a burning feeling in the chest, and the feeling of having a lump in the chest.

You have acid in your stomach at all times. The sphincter, a muscle at the bottom of your esophagus, relaxes and contracts, allowing food to pass into the stomach and preventing acid from climbing up the esophagus. When the sphincter relaxes at the wrong time, stomach acid leaks into the esophagus, causing unpleasant symptoms. 

Our experts at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County treat patients with GERD regularly. Below, we asked them what causes acid reflux, how to manage the condition, and what treatments are available for the condition. 

GERD triggers and risk factors 

Many patients with GERD notice their symptoms worsening after eating or drinking certain beverages such as carbonated drinks or consuming spicy foods. 

Because food sensitivities vary from one person to another, the best way to determine if you have any food triggers is to keep a diary of what you eat and of what symptoms you experience after your meals. Keep meals simple with only fewer ingredients so triggers are easier to identify. 

Aside from diet, researchers have also found that GERD is more common in pregnant women and obese patients. 

Medications can be triggers for GERD in some people as well. Ibuprofen, aspirin, blood pressure-lowering drugs, antibiotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs can all either trigger or worsen GERD symptoms. 

When taking new medications or when experiencing unpleasant side effects, talk to your medical provider about your concerns and inquire about alternatives to the drugs you’re currently taking. 

Treating GERD

Under the guidance of our specialists, many patients end up lessening their symptoms by simply making a few lifestyle changes. However, if your GERD persists, there are medications available that lower the amount of acid in your stomach, so less acid ends in your esophagus. 

However, GERD medications are not without side effects. 

Lower stomach acid may increase your chances of experiencing bloating and burping, and it may cause nutrient malasoptrion.

Our experts also work together with specialized surgeons to discuss other types of interventions to tighten the sphincter that helps prevent acid reflux and may in turn reduce the need for long-term acid-reducing medications. 

Manage your GERD symptoms with us 

If you’re experiencing acid reflux on a regular basis, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experts will be more than happy to answer all of your questions and put together a personalized treatment plan so you can enjoy your meals again. 

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