Gastro-esophageal reflux disease—or GERD—is a common condition. It occurs when stomach acids enter the lower esophagus and cause inflammation. Patients with GERD often experience heartburn, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a dry cough. If you have GERD symptoms, report them to your doctor right away. GERD is most treatable with early intervention.
The initial treatment of GERD usually revolves around lifestyle modifications. Sleeping propped up on a stack of pillows to prevent stomach acid from traveling further up the esophagus can help. If you smoke, ask your doctor for help quitting, as the habit can exacerbate GERD symptoms. Eating smaller meals throughout the day and having your last meal earlier can be helpful, as can avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks. Talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter medications to control your symptoms.
The Reflux Center at Brandon Regional Hospital can help get your GERD under control with a wide range of treatment options. Find out more about our Hillsborough County hospital and our comprehensive range of services, including orthopedics and pediatrics, by calling (888) 327-2636.