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Table of Contents

How common is heartburn? ............................................... 2

What is heartburn or GERD ................................................ 2

What causes heartburn and GERD? .................................. 3

What are the treatments for infrequent heartburn? ......... 3

  • Lifestyle modifications

  • Over-the-counter medications

Why are heartburn and GERD not trivial conditions? ...... 4

What are the treatment goals for GERD? ......................... 5

What are the treatments for GERD? .................................. 6

  • Lifestyle modification

  • Medical treatment of GERD

What are the medications often prescribed for GERD? .. 7

  • H2 receptor antagonists

  • Proton pump inhibitors

  • Promotility agents

Can surgery be an option when medical treatments for GERD fail? .................................... 9

Effectiveness of therapies for GERD .............................. 10

What is a gastroenterologist? .......................................... 11

What types of tests are needed to evaluate GERD? ...... 11

  • Upper GI series

  • Endoscopy

  • Esophageal manometry or esophageal pH

EEM: Heartburn links to chest pain; asthma; chronic coughs; ear, nose and throat problems

often avoid detection ........................................................ 12

  • GERD can masquerade as other diseases

Patients with longstanding GERD can experience severe complications ........................................................ 12

Ignoring persistent heartburn symptoms can lead to severe consequences, even cancer .................... 15

  • Study links duration of heartburn to severity of esophageal .... disease

  • Study links chronic, longstanding, severe heartburn to esophageal cancer

Some key points to remember about GERD ................... 17

  • Measure yourself on the “Richter Scale”

located on the back of this brochure

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