Let us Learn about Health and Healthcare

Understanding Heartburn: Day 3

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on September 1, 2012 at 8:00 am

How is GERD treated?
See your health care provider if you have had symptoms of GERD and have been using antacids or other over-the-counter reflux medications for more than 2 weeks. Your health care provider may refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines. Depending on the severity of your GERD, treatment may involve one or more of the following lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.
Lifestyle Changes
• If you smoke, stop.
• Avoid foods and beverages that worsen symptoms.
• Lose weight if needed.
• Eat small, frequent meals.
• Wear loose-fitting clothes.
• Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
• Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by securing wood blocks under the bedposts. Just using extra pillows will not help.

Medications
Your health care provider may recommend over-the-counter antacids or medications that stop acid production or help the muscles that empty your stomach. You can buy many of these medications without a prescription. However, see your health care provider before starting or adding a medication. Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Riopan, are usually the first drugs recommended to relieve heartburn and other mild GERD symp­toms. Many brands on the market use different combinations of three basic salts— magnesium, calcium, and aluminum—with
hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Antacids, how­ever, can have side effects. Magnesium salt can lead to diarrhea, and aluminum salt may cause constipation. Aluminum and magnesium salts are often combined in a single product to balance these effects. Calcium carbonate antacids, such as Tums, Titralac, and Alka-2, can also be a supple­mental source of calcium. They can cause constipation as well. Foaming agents, such as Gaviscon, work by covering your stomach contents with foam to prevent reflux. H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR), and ranitidine (Zantac 75), decrease acid production. They are avail­able in prescription strength and over-the­counter strength. These drugs provide short-term relief and are effective for about half of those who have GERD symptoms. Proton pump inhibitors include omepra­zole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and esomeprazole (Nexium), which are available by prescrip­tion. Prilosec is also available in over-the­counter strength. Proton pump inhibitors
are more effective than H2 blockers and can relieve symptoms and heal the esophageal lining in almost everyone who has GERD.
Prokinetics help strengthen the LES and make the stomach empty faster. This group includes bethanechol (Urecholine) and metoclopramide (Reglan). Metoclo­pramide also improves muscle action in the digestive tract. Prokinetics have frequent side effects that limit their usefulness— fatigue, sleepiness, depression, anxiety, and problems with physical movement.

Because drugs work in different ways, com­binations of medications may help control symptoms. People who get heartburn after eating may take both antacids and H2 blockers. The antacids work first to neu­tralize the acid in the stomach, and then the H2 blockers act on acid production. By the time the antacid stops working, the H2 blocker will have stopped acid produc­tion. Your health care provider is the best source of information about how to use
medications for GERD.

Advertisements
  1. can you buy avodart online – http://bruceelg94.tumblr.com/#39739; adverse side effects of avodart avodart tiredness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: