Management of GERD: Current Primary Care Approaches

Rao, Goutham
December 2005
Journal of Family Practice;Dec2005 Supplement, Vol. 54, p3
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the primary care approaches for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is characterized by heartburn and reflux. The chronic disease is highly prevalent in society, and in many patients, it is found to be severe. GERD is the most expensive gastrointestinal problem in the United States, and 63% of the annual medical expenses are related to GERD. Most of the physicians prescribe proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy for the treatment. The PPI dose can be increased in cases where relief is not met with normal dose. According to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), endoscopy should be done in cases of serious patients of GERD. GERD symptoms can also be controlled by changing the lifestyle of patients. Abstaining from smoking, and taking a low-fat diet can help in controlling the disease. ACG also considers PPI as the most effective remedy for acid suppression in case of GERD. PPIs are now available over-the-counter, which has reduced the cost of treatment. Continuous therapy is needed for effective treatment of the disease, and the symptoms may reappear if PPI treatment is discontinued.


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