Recognizing the Symptoms of GERD and How to Treat It

Dec 8 • 2015

Did you know that 7 million people in the United States have some symptoms of GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease? It can occur in people of any age and is often caused by a malfunction in the valve that keeps the contents of the stomach from coming up into the esophagus. Many people who suffer from GERD think that they simply have to live with it, but Dr. Paul Bierman at the Baptist Heartburn Treatment Center – North Mississippi is working to change that.

GERD can present itself in a variety of symptoms – some people may suffer from many of them, while others only experience a few. These include:

  • Burning pain in the chest that occurs after eating and worsens when lying down
  • Pain in the upper abdomen just below the breast bone
  • Belching
  • Nausea
  • Regurgitation
  • Burning in the throat
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Need to frequently clear the throat
  • Bitter or sour taste
  • Hoarseness or chronic cough

One of the best ways to prevent heartburn is to not lie down for one to two hours after eating. “You should also never eat within 1.5 hours before sleeping,” said Dr. Bierman. “Additionally, avoid greasy foods, excessive caffeine, and alcohol or carbonated beverages.” Smoking and obesity are also known to worsen GERD symptoms.

The Baptist Heartburn Treatment Center provides people in the Mid-South community with access to a variety of resources when it comes to GERD. “We help educate people about GERD and lifestyle and behavioral modifications,” said Dr. Bierman. “We educate them on when to seek treatment and explain the various medical and surgical options that can help with their specific condition.”

Find out more about the GERD services offered and take our heartburn quiz.