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We’ve all heard about heartburn and chances are that most of ushave experienced it at some point, but have you heard aboutGERD?

GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is commonly known asacid reflux disease and is often a chronic condition that affectsnearly 19 million Americans.

If you are experiencing frequent and persistent symptoms ofheartburn, it is important for you to discuss them with a healthcare provider. Your doctor can develop an individualized treatmentplan, which may consist of diet and lifestyle changes, and mightalso include medication, depending on the severity of yoursymptoms.

About GERD

GERD is often characterized by frequent and persistent heartburnthat occurs two or more days a week despite treatment and dietchanges. GERD can occur in both men and women, and the severity ofthe disease may vary among patients.

GERD occurs when stomach acid used for digestion repeatedlybacks up, or refluxes, into the esophagus. GERD-related symptomsare often triggered by certain foods, stress, or pressure on thestomach. Millions of tiny pumps in the stomach produce acid thathelps digest food. Unfortunately, stomach acid can flow back intothe esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach).This usually happens when the valve between your stomach andesophagus (called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES) does notwork properly.

Normally, this valve opens to allow food and liquids to enterthe stomach, and it closes to keep acid and food in the stomach.But if it doesn’t close all the way or if it opens too often,stomach acid can move up into your esophagus. And with continuedexposure to stomach acid, the esophagus may become inflamed andpossibly damaged, a condition known as erosive esophagitis(EE).

Since heartburn and other symptoms of GERD affect people indifferent ways, it’s important to talk to a health care providerabout these symptoms. Only a health care provider can diagnose GERDand determine if there is damage to the esophagus.

Tips for Managing GERD

Lifestyle modifications are a part of a treatment plan and helpmanage heartburn related to GERD.

Here are some tips:

* Avoid common trigger foods. Fried and fatty foods, onions,citrus fruits, tomato-based foods, alcohol, coffee and othercaffeinated drinks, chocolate, peppermint and spearmint cancontribute to GERD symptoms.

* Eat small, frequent meals. Avoid eating two to three hoursbefore bedtime.

* Consider your clothing. Try not to wear tight-fitting clothesaround your waist.

* Manage your body weight. Watch your weight and lose some ifyou’re overweight.

* If you currently smoke, try to quit.

* Manage stress and how you react to it.

* Raise the head of your bed six to eight inches while yousleep.

Treatment for GERD

Diet and lifestyle changes are typically first-line treatmentapproaches for GERD. However, if those changes don’t help enough torelieve symptoms, a health care provider may recommend treatmentwith medication. If you are diagnosed with acid reflux disease,DEXILANT(TM) (dexlansoprazole) may be an option – it is an approvedmedication for the treatment of heartburn related to GERD.

Uses of DEXILANT (dexlansoprazole) 30 mg and 60 mg delayedrelease capsules

Persistent heartburn two or more days a week, despite treatmentand diet changes, could be acid reflux disease (ARD). PrescriptionDEXILANT capsules are used in adults to treat heartburn related toARD, to heal acid-related damage to the lining of the esophagus(called erosive esophagitis or EE), and to stop EE from comingback. Individual results may vary. Most damage (erosions) heals in4-8 weeks.

Important Safety Information

DEXILANT may not be right for everyone. You should not takeDEXILANT if you are allergic to DEXILANT or any of its ingredients.Severe allergic reactions have been reported. Symptom relief doesnot rule out other serious stomach conditions. The most common sideeffects of DEXILANT were diarrhea (4.8 percent), stomach pain (4.0percent), nausea (2.9 percent), common cold (1.9 percent), vomiting(1.6 percent), and gas (1.6 percent). DEXILANT and certain othermedicines can affect each other. Before taking DEXILANT, tell yourdoctor if you are taking ampicillin, atazanavir, digoxin, iron,ketoconazole, or tacrolimus. If you are taking DEXILANT withwarfarin, you may need to be monitored because serious risks couldoccur.

Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional. Please seeaccompanying Prescribing Information for DEXILANT.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects ofprescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatchor call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Courtesy of ARAcontent