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How is GERD Treated?

By Fern Kuhn

If you are bound to get heartburn or even symptoms of heartburn and acid regurgitation for a while, you should visit your medical doctor.

You might wish to visit an internal md, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, initially and then the doctor might then refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the esophagus, stomach and intestines.

Depending on how severe your symptoms of GERD are, a course of action might include 1 or more of the following lifestyle modifications and medications that might be ordered by your physician. Hopefully the last resort will be surgery.

Lifestyle Changes Include:

* Smoke cessation, if you smoke.

* Avoiding alcohol.

* Weight loss if necessary.

* Eat smaller meals, maybe 6-8 small meals instead of 3 large meals.

* Wear clothes that fit loosely.

* Sitting up for three hours after a meal, instead of lying down.

* Raise the head of your bed six to eight inches by putting blocks of wood under the bedposts or just using an angled pillow underneath your mattress to elevate your head.

Medications might be recommended by the doctor if the above lifestyle change isn't working. Before you take any over-the-counter medications, you need to speak with your doctor to get approval.

Some over-the-counter medications (OTC) can interfere with some of your other prescribed medications so always ask your doctor if you are planning to take any OTC medications.

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