This is a health video about all the different non-surgical treatments available to you to help treat GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
Read the full transcript »
What are the Non-surgical treatment options for GERD? Dr. Rajeev Jain: In the treatment of GERD, we usually start off with basic lifestyle modifications that is avoiding substances that increase your symptoms, trying to not eat for at least 2-3 hours before your lie down or go to sleep, so no bed time snack. If those simple type when you will stop smoking, decrease your alcohol consumption, do not improve your symptoms, then there's a sort of three different medical treatments one can try, and those are all related to acid. The first group is called Antacids and they simply work by buffering the acid and decreasing the acidity. They are effective quickly but they don't last very long. Dr. Daniel C. DeMarco: The Liquid Antacids work better. They cope to esophagus, they neutralize the acid right away and they provide relief before you put the bottle down after taking a swig. And so, if someone wants instant relief that's the way it go. Dr. Rajeev Jain: The second group of medications are known as Histamine-2 receptor antagonists or H2-receptor blockers. Those are the medication such as Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, and Axid. They work by inhibiting acid production as well in the stomach and they lasts several hours to almost a full day, if taken several times a day. Dr. Daniel C. DeMarco: And if we take that acid away from the stomach, then the reflux contents are not nearly is caustic to the esophagus. Those medicines work over the course and they work in 4 to 12 hours and hence, so the onset of action is pretty quickly and they are very effective. Dr. Rajeev Jain: However in patients with severe heartburn either in terms of how bad it feels or how frequent it is, often those medications are not strong enough and in the late 80s or early 90s the medication were approved, in a new class proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. Dr. Daniel C. DeMarco: And those medicines are very effective in suppressing gastric acid. So that you don't have acid coming up in the esophagus, but they take a day or so to really work, work well. Dr. Rajeev Jain: The Proton Pump is a constituent of the gastric cells that produces Hydrogen ions and this is what makes acid, hydrochloric acid and so, there are several things that can turn that pump on. One is Histamine and that's where H2 blockers work. Other, there are other neural mechanisms that also turn on acid production, but no matter what the different input is, the final pathway is the production of these Hydrogen ions and so if you can block that pump, you've blocked anything that leads to acid production. Dr. Daniel C. DeMarco: My advice is to take care of yourself as far as smoking, drinking or eating and then if symptoms are bothering them daily basis, interfering with your sleep, I think they need to take some action and see if they can see a doctor and do something to make their life better.