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What is the treatment for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease?

Learn about treatment options for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD), including lifestyle changes, medications like antacids and PPIs, and surgical procedures like fundoplication and LINX device.

  • 23 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease, also called GORD or acid reflux, is a condition that impacts people of all ages. It is a common condition, where acid from the stomach moves back up into the food pipe (oesophagus). While symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation are usually harmless for most, left untreated, GORD can greatly impact the quality of life and may even lead to more severe complications over time. In this article, we’ll be exploring the various options available for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease treatment, from lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter medications to prescription drugs and surgery. 


Treatment of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)

The gastro-oesophageal reflux disease treatment options include:

1. Nonprescription Medications

  • Initially, doctors often recommend nonprescription medications and lifestyle changes to manage mild GERD symptoms.
  • Antacids like Mylanta or Tums provide rapid relief by neutralising stomach acid. 
  • However, they don't heal an inflamed esophagus. H-2 blockers like Tagamet HB or Pepcid AC reduce acid production for more extended relief. In contrast, strong acid blockers called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), including Nexium or Prilosec, allow oesophagal tissue healing. 
  • These nonprescription medications can be an initial approach, but consulting a doctor is advisable before starting them, especially if symptoms persist.


2. Getting to prescription medications

  • Prescription medications are required when over-the-counter remedies are found to be insufficient. 
  • Strong acid suppression is provided by prescription PPIs like Nexium and Prevacid, which aid in oesophagal repair, albeit they may have modest adverse effects, including headaches or diarrhoea. 
  • Stronger forms of famotidine or nizatidine, known as prescription H-2 blockers, are typically well tolerated but may have negative consequences. 
  • Patients with more severe or chronic symptoms are administered these drugs, which frequently need to be closely monitored by a medical practitioner to prevent any consequences or adverse effects.


3. Procedure-Based and Surgical Treatments

  • Procedures involving surgery such as fundoplication, LINX device, and TIF prevent reflux without the need for long-term medications
  • This gives patients a variety of alternatives for efficiently controlling their GERD symptoms and meeting their preferences for care.

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Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease treatment options range from prescription medications to surgical procedures such as fundoplication, LINX device, and TIF. While surgery prevents reflux without the need for constant medication, medications treat complaints. With so many alternatives, GERD symptoms may be effectively managed while still accommodating individual preferences. Selecting the best course of therapy involves speaking with a medical expert. It also helps to have a good health insurance plan in place to help with the management costs of this condition.

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