Those with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) know that it’s more than just an occasional occurrence after a late-night eating binge, with symptoms including upset stomach, foul breath and difficulty swallowing. Many people with pulmonary fibrosis are intimately familiar with this condition, as it often happens concurrently with chronic lung disease (known as comorbidity).
An article at HealthiNation.com outlines effective treatment options. * The article features a short video interview with gastroenterologist Roshini Raj, MD of New York University’s Langone Medical Center. She explains that acid reflux is when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus (food pipe); when it occurs at least twice per week, it’s known as gastroesophageal disease. Dr. Raj states she always recommends necessary lifestyle changes first; but if that’s insufficient, medical options are considered.
- Lifestyle changes typically include eliminating trigger foods; eating smaller, frequent meals; and, if need be, losing weight.
- Medications bind or neutralize existing stomach acid, or work to reduce acid production at the cellular level. Antacids work quickly for temporal relief of mild reflux by neutralizing stomach acid. For longer-lasting relief, H2 blockers such as Pepcid® (famotidine) and proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec (omeprazole) are prescribed or obtained over-the-counter, which reduce acid by blocking stomach cell production. H2 blockers and PPIs do come with long-term risks, however, such as osteoporosis in women and infection from lower acidity.
- Surgery is generally a last resort for those unwilling to take pills or if medications fail, and mainly reserved for serious GERD cases (example, esophageal inflammation). Surgery usually involves a procedure called fundoplication, where part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower esophagus to strengthen the esophageal sphincter (door to the stomach) and prevent acid reflux.
Beyond bothersome symptoms, acid reflux and GERD can bring more serious esophageal issues if left unaddressed (including cancer). Says Raj, “You don’t just want to accept this as part of your life. You want to make sure that you’re getting the correct diagnosis, evaluation, and the correct treatment.”
Find the article at:
*Staff. (2018, July 2). Treatments for Acid Reflux and GERD: Understanding Your Options. HealthiNation.
(HealthiNation is a URAC® accredited content provider.)