Ask the Nurse

I am a 50 year old woman and was diagnosed with GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) 2 years ago. This started after I began treatment for my ulcerative colitis with mesalamine. I now take omeprazole before dinner and have noticed some benefit. I would like to get off the omeprazole. Do you have any recommendations?

It is important that you discuss treatment with your physician prior to discontinuation of any medication. GERD increases the risk of cellular changes within the esophagus, called Barrett’s esophagitis, ultimately increasing your risk for esophageal cancer when compared to someone without GERD.

Treatment with a proton pump inhibitor is not only for your symptoms, but also to protect your esophagus. The most important lifestyle modification for GERD is weight loss and elevation of the head of the bed by 6-8 inches. Modification of your diet may reduce your GERD symptoms. More tips to help reduce symptoms are:

  • Consider avoiding foods that are excessively spicy or fatty.
  • Avoid laying down immediately after eating.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than consuming 1 or 2 large meals.

And for more information on GERD, download our free Swallowing Disorders Treatment Guide.

All my best,
Nurse Mary

January 31, 2015 at 4:00pm