Q:

How do you cure acid reflux, or GERD?

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Surgery corrects the underlying cause of GERD, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. It creates a barrier that prevents acid reflux and the progression of the disease into Barrett's esophagus. However, surgery is a last option for GERD as medication and lifestyle changes reduce symptoms, according to WebMD.

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For many patients, treatment for acid reflux disease includes lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller but more frequent meals. Blocks that elevate the head of the bed allow gravity to prevent GERD. Avoiding tight fitting clothes and losing weight are also effective, according to WebMD.

While over-the-counter medications help to control the symptoms of GERD, there is a tendency among patients to overuse these medicines, according to WebMD. Overuse causes other gastric problems. If over-the-counter medications do not control the symptoms, doctors often prescribe foaming agents, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors or prokinetics. Such medications are generally effective and eliminate the need for surgery in many patients.

Surgery for acid reflux disease includes implanting a LINX device around the esophagus or creating an artificial valve at the top of the stomach, according to WebMD. The LINX device is a magnetic ring that surrounds the esophagus that opens to allow food to enter the stomach, but then closes to keep food and acid from entering the esophagus. The artificial valve prevents reflux and repairs a hiatal hernia.

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