Will My GERD Resolve on Its Own?

Most people experience acid reflux from time to time, but if you experience it two times a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic disorder that affects about one in five (20%) adults in the United States. 

While GERD won’t go away on its own, it can often be resolved with lifestyle modification and medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve GERD symptoms.

At Michael Sutker, MD, in Dallas and McKinney, Texas, board-certified general surgeon Dr. Sutker can determine exactly what’s triggering your GERD symptoms, and develop a personalized treatment plan so you can eat without fear of uncomfortable acid reflux.

Here, Dr. Sutker discusses the underlying causes of GERD, and explains how you can resolve the problem with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Causes of GERD

GERD is a serious form of acid reflux, which happens when acid from your stomach flows back up into your esophagus. Your esophagus has a sensitive lining that’s not supposed to get washed in stomach acid; when it does, you may experience heartburn or chest pain. 

A valve at the bottom of your esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter, LES, opens when you swallow and closes after food travels through it into your stomach. If you have a weak or faulty LES, it allows acid from your stomach to travel back into your esophagus. Risk factors for developing GERD include:

While many people think the foods or beverages they eat lead to GERD, that’s not the case. However, certain foods — such as coffee, garlic, and onions — can trigger acid reflux episodes.

How to treat GERD

Fortunately, healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way in easing GERD and its painful, irritating symptoms. Dr. Sutker may advise you to:

Additionally, non-prescription medications such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors (brand names include Prevacid® and Prilosec OTC®) can help. If OTC medications are ineffective, prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors or prescription-strength H-2 blockers may help.

If lifestyle changes and medication fail to relieve painful GERD symptoms, Dr. Sutker offers various surgical treatments to resolve GERD and the chronic acid reflux that comes with it. 

During your consultation with Dr. Sutker, he can help you determine the best treatment option to help you find long-lasting relief from GERD. Call or click online to schedule a visit at Michael Sutker, MD, PA, today.

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