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How is acid reflux treated?

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Quick Answer

Acid reflux is often treated with medication and lifestyle changes, according to WebMD. The exact treatment varies depending on the person.

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How is acid reflux treated?
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Full Answer

Medication that can be used to treat acid reflux or to reduce symptoms can be obtained with a prescription or over-the-counter. Over-the-counter medications include antacids, which neutralize the amount of acid in the esophagus. Patients can also find over-the-counter medications, such as H-2 receptor blockers, that decrease the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach. Prescription medications include higher strength H-2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors, though some proton pump inhibitors are available over-the-counter.

Lifestyle changes can help reduce acid reflux. This includes eating smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to several big meals and eliminating tight belts or clothing. Sufferers can also sleep in a more upright position and lose weight if needed. Since some medications can trigger acid reflux, switching or eliminating those that do can also help.

In some patients, medication is not helpful and surgery may be needed. Surgery can involve tightening or strengthening the lower esophagus sphincter.

People experiencing acid reflux should contact a doctor. An experienced doctor can recommend the best treatment for the patient, as all people respond differently. Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.

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