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Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- Could my symptoms be caused by GERD?
- Do I need to be treated for GERD?
- Am I at increased risk for GERD?
- Are there specific foods I should avoid to lower my risk of developing GERD?
- Does being overweight increase my risk of developing GERD?
- Can smoking increase my risk of GERD?
Are medications sufficient to control GERD?
- What side effects are associated with these drugs?
- Will they interact with other medications, over the counter products, or dietary and herbal supplements I am taking?
- At what point should I consider surgery to control GERD?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to help manage or control GERD?
- Do I have to eat a completely bland diet to control GERD?
- Are there any restrictions on exercise?
- Can you give me some advice for quitting smoking?
- Are there complications that I should be concerned about?
- How can I avoid these complications?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 29, 2013. Accessed April 30, 2013.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal%5Fdisorders/esophageal%5Fand%5Fswallowing%5Fdisorders/gastroesophageal%5Freflux%5Fdisease%5Fgerd.html. Updated May 2012. Accessed April 30, 2013.
Heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux (GER), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerd. Updated April 30, 2012. Accessed April 30, 2013.
Katz PO, Gerson LB, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108(3):302-328.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed April 29, 2013
Understanding heartburn and reflux disease. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/heartburn-gerd. Published April 25, 2010. Accessed April 30, 2010.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 05/08/2014