Your primary care doctor should do the initial evaluation of GERD. This kind of doctor is usually an internist or doctor who does general internal medicine and only treats adults. Other primary care doctors might be family practitioners who treat both adults and children. Your doctor may treat you with medication for GERD and/or order tests.
If you are on medication that is not working or have any of the symptoms from the preceding question, your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist. Gastroenterologists are doctors who have trained in adult internal medicine and have done several years of additional training in diseases of the digestive tract, liver, and pancreas. They generally see patients in the office and do various procedures. These procedures are usually upper endoscopy and colonoscopy. Upper endoscopy involves passing instruments down through the mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum and can be used to evaluate GERD. A colonoscopy is a screening test for colon cancer.
Depending on where you live and the availability of specialist doctors, surgeons or family practitioners may perform procedures. You may be referred to one of these doctors for an upper endoscopy test for evaluation of your GERD.
Frequent GERD, occurring three or more times a week or longstanding symptoms of more than 6 months may be a sign of damage to the esophagus.
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for what we know as acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach releases its liquid back into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage to the esophageal lining. The regurgitated acid most often consists of a few compoundsbr acid, bile, and pepsin.