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GERD Awareness Week

By on November 20, 2014
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GERD Awareness Week

The 16th Annual GERD Awareness Week is November 23-29, 2014. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a very common disorder.  Each year during the week of Thanksgiving, IFFGD encourages people experiencing the symptoms, which  may be GERD-related, to consult their physicians and to contact us to receive information and support regarding the condition.

The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn. Another typical symptom is reflux of fluid into the mouth.

Some of the other less common symptoms may include difficulty or pain when swallowing, sensation of food sticking in the esophagus, hoarseness, throat-clearing, chronic sore throat, wheezing, or chronic cough.

Treatment of GERD is long-term,  options include lifestyle changes, medicines, surgery, or a combination of approaches.

Medicines – Over-the-counter medicines provide only temporary relief of heartburn. Tell your doctor if you need to take one for more than two weeks.

The most commonly prescribed medicines to treat GERD are H2 blockers and the more powerful PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). These reduce or limit acid secretion in your stomach.

Surgery – For some people, surgery to strengthen the barrier between the stomach and esophagus may be an option. Medicine may still need to be taken after surgery to control symptoms. Before having surgery, review all aspects of the procedure with your primary care doctor or gastroenterologist and the surgeon.

IFFGD first designated GERD Awareness Week in November 1999.

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