Acid Reflux Treatment
Treatment for people who suffer from acid reflux / GORD varies depending on the severity and symptoms of their disease. Mild or occasional heartburn usually responds well to lifestyle modifications such as losing weight, stopping smoking and changes in dietary habits. However, if you have moderate to severe GORD, lifestyle changes alone may not be sufficient and your doctor may prescribe a course of anti-reflux medication:
For mild or infrequent bouts of heartburn, antacids (alkali liquids or tablets that neutralise the acid in the stomach) can be used to give quick, though temporary relief. There are many brands available, some of which are prescription only e.g. Rennies®, Alka-Seltzer®, Gaviscon®.
If your symptoms are persistent, you may be prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers), both of which block acid production in the stomach.
- H2 blockers: cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine and ranitidine. Limited effectiveness, only working for 8-12 hours so may not block acid secretion or give heartburn relief all day
- PPIs: omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole, and esomeprazole. More widely used than H2 blockers as they last longer and are more potent at suppressing acid
It is important to note, however, that while these medications may reduce the symptoms associated with acid reflux, they do not treat the underlying cause
. For some people, acid-suppressant treatment, even at maximum doses, is no longer sufficient to control their symptoms. If you are one of these, you may be thinking about a surgical option.
There are 3 main anti-reflux procedures and when performed by our team of specialist surgeons, they can all deliver excellent outcomes. It is expected that 95% of reflux surgery patients will experience a significant improvement in their acid reflux symptoms.