Everyone with GERD is seeking one thing: symptom relief. But what is the right path to relief for you? With so many acid reflux remedies available, how do you find your optimal path to relief? RefluxMD offers a process that helps you to reduce or end your symptoms with the least risk to your overall health. This is the first of a several part response to help anyone asking this same question.
Since starting RefluxMD several years ago we have received thousands of questions from our visitors. Although each question is worded differently, the most frequent can be reduced to this: “Which acid reflux remedies do you recommend to stop my GERD symptoms?” For most people, finding relief from their GERD symptoms requires a combination of home remedies, dietary and lifestyle changes, the smart use of medications, and in some cases, surgery. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” acid reflux remedy. Since everyone is different, selecting the best treatment plan can be both difficult and frustrating. However, we have some good news for you: there is a process you can follow that will guide your decision-making. By answering the following eight questions, you will determine the right treatment plan for YOU and find relief and good health:
- Do you really have GERD?
- What is your starting point?
- Is your weight optimal?
- Are you eating properly?
- Are you using the medications appropriately?
- Have you made the right lifestyle choices?
- Have you tried home remedies?
- Are you considering surgery?
We address the first question in this post and will address the rest in future posts. Let’s get started!
QUESTION #1: Do you really have GERD?
You may be thinking, “Of course I have GERD! I wouldn’t be here otherwise,” but this is a critical question. Many adults self-diagnose or are diagnosed with GERD by a primary care physician (PCP) or family doctor. Several research studies have found that over 30% of adults using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) do not have a medical condition that requires these powerful antireflux medications. It is essential to not only get an accurate diagnosis, but to confirm any disease progression such as strictures, esophagitis, dysplasia, Barrett’s esophagus, or adenocarcinoma, better known as esophageal cancer. Only a specialist can perform an accurate evaluation of the esophagus, and we recommend a RefluxMD GERD expert anytime one is available in your area.
Recommendation: Confirm that your symptoms are caused by GERD
If you’re struggling with your symptoms, it’s time to schedule a complete workup with a specialist or a recommended GERD expert. Ask your PCP for a referral or simply use DocMatch, our online tool, and we will recommend an expert near you. This will include an endoscopy to evaluate the lower esophageal sphincter, your esophagus, and the upper portion of the stomach. In addition, your doctor may also perform a 24-hour pH test and a biopsy of the esophagus based on your medical history, symptoms, and the results of the endoscopy. Continue reading – Benefits and Risks You May Face