- GERD patients do not have to continue suffering.
- Recognize when you’re experiencing failed GERD treatments.
- Seek information about all treatment choices.
Failed GERD Treatments
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is caused by a damaged lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. The LES is a ring of muscle that connects the swallowing tube(esophagus) to the stomach. It acts as a gatekeeper, opening to allow food to pass into the stomach and then closing to prevent the contents of the stomach from back-flowing, or refluxing, into the esophagus. Stomach contents contain acid which irritates the lining of the esophagus and cause a variety of symptoms. The most common symptom caused by GERD is heartburn.
GERD is NOT caused by the stomach making too much acid, but by a malfunctioning LES. However, the usual treatment is medications that decrease or suppress stomach acid production. These drugs include Zantac, Tagamet and Pepcid as well as the most powerful acid suppressants called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs include Prilosec, Nexium Prevacid, Zegerid. The consequences of this approach is that the reflux continues but no longer contains acid, resulting in symptom resolution in most cases. However, since the actual cause of GERD, the damages LES, is not addressed it is no wonder that this treatment fails in many individuals.
Studies show that even with strong medications such as PPIs, symptoms of GERD continue in approximately 40% of patients and up to half of those are concerned about this. You may be one of these people! On top of this, even though the continued reflux may not be felt, further LES damage occurs requiring increasing doses of these expensive and inconvenient medications. Once medications are begun, they are usually required for life exposing patients to long term side effects that include an increased risk of hip fractures, certain types of pneumonia’s, low magnesium levels and the development of a serious infections of the colon.
It is no wonder that the ultimate outcome is failed GERD treatments due to this medical approach in many people. This failure is best defined as the failure of these powerful medications to control GERD symptoms to a patient’s satisfaction. Failure can also be defined as not wanting to continue these medications due to their inconvenience, cost or concerns about side effects. PPI medications definitely have a prominent role in the management of GERD, but they do not succeed in everyone.
Failure of medications to satisfy the GERD patient must be acknowledged such that other avenues of treatment can be pursued and needless suffering avoided. Treatments that focus directly on the cause of GERD, the damaged LES, are very successful. The comprehensive approach to GERD offered by the Heartburn Treatment Center offers these treatments. They have provided many people the relief they deserve.
Today, make that decision to contact Dr. Nilesh Patel. Register for your FREE Seminar at one of our GERD treatment centers. If you would like to speak to someone about acid reflux and its causes, symptoms or treatments please fill out our online contact us form.