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Medications & Lifestyle Changes in Managing GERD

Mickle Center Doctors Are Highly Experienced In Treating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Dr. Alexander Rosemurgy and Dr. Sharona Ross of the Digestive Health Institute’s Mickle Center for Reflux and Esophageal Disorders have a wealth of experience in treating patients with severe cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux. They offer minimally invasive surgeries that cure reflux for a large majority of their patients. After their surgeries, most of these patients no longer need to take anti-acid medications.


Before you can be considered for GERD surgery, you will need to be treated with medicine. Several of DHI gastroenterologists are experts in helping patients manage their GERD through medicine and lifestyle habits such as making diet changes, losing weight and quitting smoking. At first, your doctor might recommend over-the-counter antacids or prescription medications that stop acid production or help the muscles that empty the stomach. Antacids calm down, or neutralize, stomach acid.

Medications that are commonly used to reduce the amount of stomach acid the body makes are H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These medications work very well, but they should only be taken for a short time. Their long-term use can be harmful. H2 blockers and PPIs have been linked with osteoporosis (bone loss), kidney disease, dementia, heart problems and adverse drug interactions. They also produce effects that can eventually cause esophageal cancer.


While medical treatment works for some patients, PPIs are not intended for use over long periods. In fact, FDA approval of PPIs is for using them only 6 weeks per year. Therefore patients who respond well to medical treatment, as well as those who do not, should be evaluated for definitive treatment of GERD. A definitive treatment is a more permanent approach that allows patients to stop taking PPIs. For many patients, definitive treatment is an operation that strengthens the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. Patients who cannot have surgery may benefit from endoscopic approaches to treating GERD. While these treatment options are more involved than taking medicine and making lifestyle changes, they can effectively control GERD and help patients avoid the risks associated with PPIs.

For an appointment to learn more about your treatment options for GERD, call DHI at (813) 615-7557.



At DHI, we know that after being diagnosed with cancer, patients want and often need to begin treatment quickly. So we make it a priority to offer appointments for cancer surgery consultations within 5 business days, and often earlier. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer, or have just found out they have cancer recurrence, qualify for this priority access. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion. We want to help you start your treatment as soon as possible.

If you have been diagnosed with a cancer of the digestive system, don’t wait.
Call the Digestive Health Institute at (813) 615-7440.

Learn more about our Surgical Cancer Care program.

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