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What Can GERD Do To You? (video)

What causes this digestive disease? How is GERD treated?

What causes this digestive disease? How is GERD treated?


Franklin Tsai, MD, a gastroenterologist at Scripps Clinic, discusses GERD, a common digestive disease, its symptoms, and treatments, including simple lifestyle changes. Dr. Tsai recommends when someone with GERD should make an appointment to see their doctor.

Video transcript

What is GERD?

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s a condition that’s very common and is due to the reflux of acid into the esophagus from the stomach.

What are common symptoms of GERD?

Common symptoms of GERD include heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest area. But it can also cause a number of other symptoms, including coughing and trouble swallowing.

How do you treat GERD?

Treatment for GERD includes diet modification, including avoiding acid-forming foods, such as spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolates, coffee and alcohol. Lifestyle modifications include losing weight, avoiding eating two to three hours before bedtime. Medications, such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, can reduce acid.

How do you know it’s time to see a doctor to treat GERD?

Reasons to see your gastroenterologist would be heartburn symptoms that persist, despite treatment with over-the-counter acid blockers, for more than one to two weeks. More severe symptoms include difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting or unintentional weight loss.

Watch more Ask the Expert videos now for quick answers to common medical questions.