GERD Disease Management
Managing Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Along with medications, your doctor may recommend dietary and lifestyle changes which are an important part of effective GERD Disease management. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, eating small, frequent meals, raising the upper body during sleep, avoiding trigger foods and not smoking can reduce reflux and the discomfort associated with GERD symptoms.
What to Ask your Doctor
Create a list of 3 to 6 questions to ask your doctor during your appointment. Specifically, you may want to ask your doctor some of the following:
- Do you think I have GERD?
- What diagnostic tests do I need?
- How serious is my condition? Am I at risk for additional complications?
- Are there other possible causes for my condition?
- What do you think is causing my symptoms?
- What lifestyle or diet changes can I make to improve my condition?
- What treatment approach do you recommend trying first?
- Do these tests require any special preparation?
- What are the treatment options for GERD?
- Does my medical history limit any of my treatment options?
- Will over-the-counter medicines help? If so, which would you recommend?
- Would prescribed medications be better? Why or why not?
- How long should I expect to take this medication?
- Should I be referred to a gastroenterologist (GI)?
- Am I at risk for Barrett’s esophagus?
- Should I consider testing for Barrett’s esophagus?
Communicating with your doctor is important for GERD disease management. Keeping the lines of communication open allows your healthcare professional to closely follow your symptoms and determine which steps shoud be taken to ensure that your GERD symptoms do not develop into Barrett’s esophagus, which is the primary risk factor for esophageal cancer. Furthermore, up to 15% of people who develop GERD will develop Barrett’s esophagus. So make sure you have a treatment plan set up with your doctor, complete with regular screening and always report new or worsened symptoms.
These resources were made possible through a partnership between Medtronic and CDHF