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Is gerd somthing I have to live with for the rest of my life or will I get better?

Dr. Adnaan S
Space Doctor
14 Streak Score Doctors are able to put a streak together by performing an activity everyday
Hi @gerdboss , GERD is treatable with a course of medication but may never truly recover. There are a few common reasons why people do not recover or have multiple episodes of discomfort/regurg/heartburn symptoms. (a) H Pylori Infection - This is the most common form of bacterial infection of the stomach that can result in GERD. Unfortunately the most accurate diagnosis can only be done through a scope with a biopsy done. The results are obtained the next day. Another method of screening is a "urea breath test" - which has a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 97%. Though it is quite a costly test and often not covered for insurance purposes. If symptoms persistent, some clinicians may choose to treat for it even without any investigations done. (b) Advanced disease - GERD typically has multiple stages which can only be determined with a scope. High grade disease typically present with more severe/persistent symptoms (c) Trigger avoidance - In general patients with persistent symptoms would be advised to avoid foods that are highly acidic e.g. citrus food, caffine (not just coffee) and spicy foods. These are the usual culprits for recurrent symptoms. Your physician may also ask you to keep a food diary to see what foods typically cause your symptoms - most patient are able to identify a trend. (d) Non compliance to medication course/Ineffective medication - Most courses of medications have to be taken over a 2- 4 week period daily, either once or twice a day. This treatment aims to attempt to "reset" the pH level of your gut. Some patients may require more potent medications (such as pantoprazole/esomeprazole) compared to traditional over the counter medication (such as gaviscon). Unfortunately the more potent medications are much more expensive and it would be more advisable to see a specialist first for preliminary investigations (e.g esomeprazole can be $7 per tablet).
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