Gastritis and GERD, similar – but not the same

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dr. Muhammad Firhat Idrus, Sp.PD
dr. Muhammad Firhat Idrus, Sp.PD. (Source: PERMATA CIBUBUR HOSPITAL)

Frequent Recurrence 

Doctors will usually prescribe drugs whose consumption can be terminated after symptoms disappear. Treatment and management of gastritis and GERD are practically the same: “Signs that your GERD is cured include the ending of heartburns, or the stoppage of acid burping. GERD is not like hypertension or diabetes that require routine medication, but it can recur repeatedly. Drugs will only help a bit, but the first line of treatment is a lifestyle change,” dr. Firhat said. 

GERD medication therapy usually lasts four to eight weeks. “When you have dutifully taken your medicine and change your lifestyle to a healthier one but there is no improvement, you have the option to undergo surgery to strengthen the flap located at the bottom of the throat, to prevent the entry of stomach acids into the esophagus. However, this might bring on further complications, so I suggest that you avoid this final option and use it as a last resort, and stick to lifestyle change,” dr. Firhat said. 

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The suggested lifestyle change includes regular eating three times a day without skipping breakfast, sitting up straight for at least three consecutive hours after eating, reducing one’s weight by adhering to a regime of healthy diet and routine exercising, and most importantly, quitting tobacco. It is important to note that GERD symptoms can worsen because of stress, or improve with better mental, emotional, and psychological health. Stress management is key in avoiding illnesses. (est)