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ASGE encourages patients to see a physician if they experience symptoms suggestive of GERD
Date:1/25/2008

ations, medications may be necessary. These include histamine2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs), proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and prokinetic agents. Although H2RAs and PPIs are available over the counter, patients who have frequent GERD symptoms or use these OTC medications regularly should see a physician.

Surgical therapy is available for those who do not respond to lifestyle and medication therapy or who do not wish to remain on medications. Surgery consists of wrapping the top of the stomach to reform the natural acid barrier and fixing the defect in the diaphragm and hiatal hernia if present. Surgical therapy is --at least over the short term -- equivalent to medical therapy. The decision of medical versus surgical therapy depends on how well the patient would tolerate surgery, their response to medical therapy and the underlying causes of the GERD. In addition, there are several endoscopic treatments for GERD. However, these are still relatively new and, for the most part, unproven or still investigational.

Do you have GERD?

If you can answer "yes" to two or more of the following questions, you may have GERD.

Do you frequently have one or more of the following?

  • An uncomfortable feeling behind the breastbone that seems to be moving upward from the stomach?
  • A burning sensation in the back of your throat?
  • A bitter acid taste in your mouth?
  • Do you often experience these problems after meals?
  • Do you experience heartburn or acid indigestion two or more times per week?
  • Do you find that antacids only provide temporary relief from your symptoms?
  • Are you taking prescription medication to treat heartburn, but still having symptoms?

Seek diagnosis and treatment if symptoms occur on a regular basis. Your GI specialist can help you enjoy every day by defining your discomfort and providing treatment designed for you. To find a gastrointestinal endoscopist in your area who can
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Contact: Anne Brownsey
abrownsey@asge.org
630-570-5635
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Source:Eurekalert

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