If your GORD is mild, lifestyle changes, dietary modifications and over the counter medications will be adequate for controlling your disease. However, if left untreated or if severe, GORD can have complications, which should be watched out for- complications such as ulcers, damage to the oesophagus, and Barret's oesophagus, which can lead to oesophageal cancer. These complications can be watched out for- if you experience symptoms such as pain when swallowing, coughing or vomiting blood, or weight loss, consult your doctor.

Spicy, acidic, or fatty food can trigger heartburn. Depending on the severity of GORD, dietary modification such as eating smaller meals, not eating close to bedtime, and avoiding these foods can help symptoms.

Lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, smoking, and tight fitting clothing can also aid symptoms. If appropriate, losing weight can lessen symptoms as well. Elevating your head in bed with two or three pillows can result in night time symptom relief.


Medications for GORD are centred on lessening the acid secretion from the stomach, and neutralizing the stomach acid once it is produced.

Antacids (e.g. Gaviscon, Mylanta) work to neutralize the acid produced by the stomach, so it cannot damage your oesophagus. It provides rapid relief from the discomfort caused by reflux, but is short acting, and needs to be taken frequently. Histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RA, commonly known as Zantac, Tagamet, etc) reduce the amount of gastric acid produced, and prevent symptoms starting. Both of these can be purchased over the counter.

The most commonly prescribed medications for GORD are PPIs- proton pump inhibitors. These block the production of stomach acid, and are considered the most effective treatment for the majority of patients. Depending on the severity of your condition, the course can be long term or short term.If medications and lifestyle changes aren't adequate and symptoms are still occurring, surgery is an option that can be considered. A fundoplication can be performed, which involves wrapping  the upper part of the stomach around the bottom of the oesophagus- this support and strengthens the lower oesophageal sphincter, decreasing the chance that stomach contents will travel past it into the oesophagus.

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