I have a theory about the intestine playing a large part in GERD along with IBS. That is part of the reason, I think, they tend to go hand in hand, but not exactly. Check out this article: http://www.enzymestuff.com/conditionbacteria.htm Since I have been following this basic routine more or less I have found that my heartburn has gone away for the most part except some here and there.
I suffered with GERD for a while until taking enzymes that over time helped alleviate it to almost gone completely except for heartburn. It takes time. I have never taken any medications for heartburn or GERD even though I have had some pretty severe cases of it.
I have tried many things and what works for me may or may not help you. It is a hit or miss thing. Even though we all have the same problem (GERD, heart burn etc) it could be caused by several things and our body chemistry along with damage varies.
I would stay away from meds as much as possible and look into natural medicnes to help. If you do take meds don't take them for too long. Meds usually just deal with the symptoms and not the core problem.
There is one thing I also need to do more of and will help with my digestion and overall health. Exercise. I need to do that much more. Hope this helps. God Bless.