Just adding to the nice posts here...
I have had GERD since 1998. It is a progessive illness and have been on nearly every PPI known to mankind.
With proper medications and lifestyle changes most people can live a pretty normal life before surgery (like me) is indicated. There are many things which I have learned thoughout the years, such as getting multiple opinions from different MD's and a regimen of upper endoscopies with biopsy to check or BE or even (yipes!) EC.
The most important thing is early intervention with a good gastroenterologist who can perform tests and optimize (if possible) your experience. Beware of MD's who sit with you looking at their computer and/or cellphone or try to give you the "HMO Push." As for going insane, no. Am I a nervous wreck, yes - no doubt about that.
I can't even travel for fear of getting food poisoning due to my low Ph level. So I eat home or in *trusted* places in which there are very few. That itself is a real PITA!
Now that I am at the end stage of medicinal therapy, I joined here to gain information of the NF and LINX procedures and even decided to investigate the Endostim, which is not FDA approved yet in the USA.
Hope this helps answer your question!
Post Edited (Gastricman) : 1/30/2013 8:11:04 AM (GMT-7)