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Quick Dose: Can You Outgrow Acid Reflux (GERD)?

If you’ve ever been around an infant, you know how common it is for them to “spit up,” which is called gastroesophageal reflux (GER). If spitting up is repetitive, or causing other symptoms like discomfort, weight loss or difficulty with feeding, they may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which involves the contents of the stomach, including acid, flowing backward into the esophagus.

Most infants outgrow GERD by the age of one. Less than 5% of children will continue to have GERD symptoms when they become toddlers.

If you are an adult with GERD, it will not go away on its own, but there are treatments that can help you manage it, including:

  • Over-the-counter medications, such as antacids
  • Prescription medications, such as proton pump inhibitors
  • Surgery, including a laparoscopic procedure called the LINX procedure
  • Lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding trigger foods and maintaining a healthy weight

– Anthony Altimari, MD, general surgeon, Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group

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Anthony F. Altimari, MD
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