If you have heartburn or acid reflux often, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. To know for sure, you’ll need to see your doctor.
Don’t try to diagnose yourself with GERD or treat it on your own. Common symptoms like chest pain could be caused by a more serious health issue.
Physical Exam and Tests
If over-the-counter medicines haven’t worked after a few weeks, your doctor may give you stronger dosages of H-2 receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors.
Your doctor may also prescribe a class of drugs known as prokinetics. These drugs help empty your stomach faster and make the muscles in the lower part of your esophagus stronger. They can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, depression, or anxiety.
You may need a combination of prescription medications to treat severe GERD or frequent attacks. If you use these drugs for a long time, you can have side effects like fractures or a lack of vitamin B-12.