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Managing GERD can help reduce the chance of permanent damage to the esophagus. It can also help reduce symptoms that cause discomfort and interfere with day to day activities. The goals of treatment include:

  • Reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach
  • Strengthening the sphincter muscle
  • Reducing the amount of food, liquid, and stomach acid that flows backward into the esophagus from the stomach

Generally, GERD can be managed with a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and in severe cases, surgery. If you have other conditions that contribute to GERD, they will need to be managed as well.

Treatment for GERD involves the following:

Lifestyle changes


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated February 19, 2015. Accessed February 27, 2015.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The Merck Manual Professional Edition. Available at: Updated May 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.

Treatment for gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Accessed February 27, 2015.

Katz PO, Gerson LB, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108(3):302-328.

Understanding heartburn and reflux disease. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: Accessed February 27, 2015.

Last reviewed May 2015 by Daus Mahnke, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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