Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or just acid reflux, is when stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. GERD symptoms can include heartburn or indigestion.
Note: Heartburn is not the same as dyspepsia (indigestion). Ask your doctor for more information on dyspepsia.
Each person may not feel gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in the same way.
Common symptoms are:
Certain alarm symptoms may point to complications or life-threatening problems. Should you have any of these alarm-warning symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.
Many things can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Talk to your doctor about what might be causing your symptoms.
There are many tests for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Not all patients with heartburn or GERD need testing. Your doctor may choose to do one or more tests to find out if GERD has hurt your esophagus (the tube that links your mouth and stomach) or is causing your symptoms.
Testing can also help your health-care team guide your treatment.
Other tests may be performed in special situations or if symptoms are hard to control.
Keeping a diary about what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel after you eat can also help you better handle your symptoms and gives your doctor useful information on what to suggest to make you feel better. Try the MyGIHealth® app to help keep track of your symptoms.
Below is a list of things you can do to try to help control symptoms of GERD.
A small number of people with heartburn may need surgery because of severe reflux and poor response to nonsurgical treatment. Fundoplication is a surgery that reduces reflux. Patients not wanting to take medication to control their symptoms are also candidates for surgery.
If you are still having symptoms even after changing your diet or using medications, let your doctor know. Your symptoms may not be from GERD or your may have a complication of GERD such as: