Acid reflux disease, or GERD, is a common compliant of the digestive system, often characterised by persistent burning or discomfort behind the breastbone. As the symptoms of GERD can mimic those of coronary disease, it is important that you visit your doctor, if you have chronic heartburn. If you have been diagnosed as having acid reflux disease, there are many treatment options available to you to help you manage your symptoms.
The treatment of GERD usually incorporates simple lifestyle changes. It is very important for patients suffering from GERD to monitor their diets, eliminating any foods or beverages, which seem to aggravate their symptoms. Avoiding a diet high in fatty foods and alcohol is very important and quitting smoking can also help decrease your symptoms. Another effective way to alleviate your symptoms of acid reflux disease is to try to manage your stress, which causes the body to produce more acid, often causing a flare-up.
If these changes are not enough to alleviate your discomfort, however, your doctor may prescribe drug therapy. Drug therapy is usually prescribed for the lifetime of the patient and often includes medications which inhibit the production of stomach acids, such as proton pump inhibitors or antacids.
While most patients tend to respond well to these treatments, sometimes surgery is the only option for those who do not respond well to other methods. The most common form of surgery used to treat GERD is fundoplication surgery, which repairs the lower esophagal sphincter, thus stopping the stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus. The average hospital stay is between one to four days, and it can sometimes take a patient up to five weeks to fully recuperate. Although surgery can successfully eliminate symptoms, a small number of patients will still need to take medication to fully control their GERD.
Whether you have been recently diagnosed with acid reflux disease or are a long-time sufferer, there are many treatment options available to you, and with a few simple lifestyle changes, under a doctor's supervision, can help you live with your symptoms.
Carl Spanier is the founder of Acid Reflux Cures a website that allows consumers to quickly and easily get acid reflux information.