What is GERD?
The esophagus is the pipe that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Normally after you eat or drink, the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) close tightly to keep the contents in the stomach. With gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a common condition, the muscles do not close properly which allows stomach contents to flow backwards and rise up the esophagus. This can cause damage to the esophagus over time and can even lead to a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
What are symptoms of GERD?
Symptoms of GERD can include the following:
How is GERD treated?
Treatment for GERD will be individualized. An individual may be prescribed daily or as-needed medication to treat GERD and its symptoms. Lifestyle changes can also improve this condition, such as:
If GERD does not improve with medications and lifestyle changes, the healthcare provider may recommend surgery or other medical procedures.
Learn More About GERD:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults Medline Plus: https://medlineplus.gov/gerd.html
PCHC has developed a GERD booklet and a Health Promotion Activity Plan (HPAP) on GERD and more.