Does your healtcare take GERD seriously in your country?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 1/10/2012 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I would like to know if you think the healthcare takes GERD seriously enough in your country or that they doesn't see it as a huge problem and easily prescribe meds like PPIs and H2s thinking the problem goes away like a cold or similar?

Do you get the help needed as to set you up on a proper diet, what measures that has to be taken like rising the bed, eating small meals, not goto bed earlier than 2-3 hours after meal or drinking etc and most importantly to follow up the patient during the whole time to coach all the way?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 377
   Posted 1/10/2012 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Answers to all your questions are No in most cases - and I live in the US.

- My first GI prescribed PPIs and H2s. No mention of any lifestyle changes. However, he did mention that I should try acupuncture and yoga.
- My ENT just looked at the throat and prescribed PPIs and H2s. Mentioned lifestyle / diet changes but in 1 sentence as I was walking out the door.
- My 2nd ENT (Jamie Koufman) - did give me a lot of literature to read on the diet (I also ended up buying her book). So she was the only one who insisted on changing the diet.
- My 2nd GI did not mention diet/lifestyle changes - but did give me a handout that had references to the above.

In all cases, however they all essentially threw their hands up when they realize that I won't be able to take any drugs. Now, it is wait and see what happens on natural supplements etc. or get the surgery basically for me.

mock turtle
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 1/10/2012 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
my pcp mis diagnosed me and threw antibiotics at my symptoms

subsequently was suspected of having lung cancer

three rounds of chest xrays

after barium swallow and other tests was told i had hiatal hernia and gerd,... take your H2s and stop complaining

after many trips to ent with upper airway problems was told, hey, you have gerd , what s the problem? take PPI meds and quiet down

big lump in throat much pain, pcp thinks im anxious and depressed and the throat problems are all in my head, and suggest meds for depression

after more trips to ent was told hey you have LPR take more PPIs and quiet down

after reporting side effects from PPIs was told thats not possible

after being scoped was told my esophagus was all clear...

and then three days later told oops you have barretts esophagus

pain in throat worsens and get ridiculed for seeing other than primary doc on emergency basis when i cant swallow

i ask for carafate and im questioned," where did you hear about that?


90% of everything i have learned about gerd and lpr came from healingwell and web searches,

with the docs telling me next to nothing

any questions?

mock turtle


im in the usa

and the only lifestyle changes recommended was elevate head of bed

never a discussion about trigger foods, small meals, portions, weight loss etc...nothing

Post Edited (mock turtle) : 1/10/2012 7:56:55 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 1/11/2012 6:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I know back in the 80's when i had GERD for the first time my doctor really took care of me and did follow-ups every second week with appointments.

He very much described what changes i needed to do and it ws important and he all the time checked my weight to put pressure on me to get down in weight, he was a real coach all the time, also he had great knowledge about stomach dieeases as he was specialised in this area from working in a famous hospital in Paris, France after he moved back to my country.

Now he is retired, but i feel the healtcare don't care about these problems today in my country, as long as you are not dying they don't seem to care too much and that's what you get by health care governed by the government and not having private alternatives.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/11/2012 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi lanab,
I think a doctor's response to GERD symptoms is an individual thing and depends on the doctor.  I have a wonderful PCP who was very in-tune to my symptoms and knows my stomach like nobody else.  I've been seeing him for over 25 years, so he knows my body like a book.
Years ago when I started showing symptoms of GERD they immediately increased my asthma symptoms, so I guess there was a bigger level of concern regarding treatment and lifestyle changes.
I was referred to a useless GI doc (after a couple of years of total frustration and absolutely no help other than prescribing additional PPIs) I asked my PCP to refer me to someone else, which he did.  My new GI was much better than the first, but he blocked the idea of surgery continuously.
The problem for me was that my major symptoms were LPR related.  My lungs were in dangerously unhealthy condition, but my esophagus was healthy, and my DeMeester score was within the normal range.  He told me with confidence that my asthma was not being caused by my GERD.  (I had been on PPIs 40mg 2X a day for years when he made that esophagus was protected.)
My asthma doc and PCP took my GERD very, very seriously and did whatever they could to instruct me in lifestyle changes, as well as adjusting my medication and adding Ranitidine at night.
I think my GI doc would have let me die of asthma before he'd recommend surgery.  If it weren't for the persistence of my PCP I'd still be suffering and having frequent hospitalizations.
My asthma doc says he's constantly frustrated with GI docs and very, very rarely sees one who understands how little reflux it takes to cause big problems with lungs. 
In my experience, my PCP was much more responsive and helpful than any GI doc I saw.
Denise, USA

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/11/2012 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
My GP treated me for heartburn starting many years ago and when that did not help he added the PPIs.  My current Dr. wanted me to increase my PPI when I mentioned I was having issues with regurge. I tried this for a short time and then went back to taking  my med at the original dose.
I do have access to an awesome GI specialist if I feel I need further intervention. 
I think most of us need to be our own best advocates.  Gone are the days when the Drs. were " always right".  They are only human and as patients we must decide if they are helping us or not.  Just my 2 cents today.
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/11/2012 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Kitt...very well said.  That's one of the reasons this Forum is so great.  Those of us who are taking responsibility for our own care are searching out information for ourselves. 
Honestly, if not for here, I would have had no clue what to expect or how to deal with my Nissen surgery.
We are a lucky bunch.
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