Living Healthy

How to Deal with Acid Reflux and GERD

According to a study by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, hospitalization with primary or secondary GERD symptoms increased by 216% from 995,402 in 1998 to 3,141,965 in 2005.


By Team ArabiaMD

 • 2 min read • 
How to Deal with Acid Reflux and GERD

Acid Reflux: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options


Various causes of acid reflux include:

  • Low Stomach Acid: Low stomach acid is one of the major causes of acid reflux. This is why reflux increases with age as your stomach acid decreases.
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): SIBO is the over-reproduction of bacteria in your small intestine.
  • Stomach Infections like Helicobacter Pylori: H.Pylori or Helicobacter Pylori is a bacterial infection that decreases stomach acid production.
  • Overeating: Eating too much can cause acid reflux.
  • Food Intolerances: Wheat, other gluten-rich foods, or dairy, especially if you’re lactose intolerant, can cause acid reflux.
  • Obesity: Being overweight puts more pressure on your stomach.
  • Acid Reflux Causing Foods: Some foods like citrus fruits, coffee, fried foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, etc. cause acid reflux.


The symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)
  • Bitter or sour taste at the back of the mouth
  • Regurgitation of drinks and foods
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Bad breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Asthma and recurring pneumonia
  • Dental erosion
  • Upper abdominal and chest pain


It is advisable to consult a gastroenterologist if you experience acid reflux symptoms at least twice a week. Your physician might order the following tests:

  • Barium swallow (esophagram)
  • PH monitoring
  • Esophageal manometry
  • Biopsy
  • Endoscopy

Treatment Options

Your physician might recommend lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery to manage acid reflux. Options include:

Lifestyle Changes

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight if you are obese/overweight
  • Change your diet and eating habits

Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs

  • Antacids
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • H2 blockers
  • Other medications

Surgery and Other Medical Procedures

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Fundoplication
  • Endoscopy

Most people experience occasional heartburn, which can be treated with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication. Consult a gastroenterologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Acid Reflux