Management of GERD
The management of GERD and its symptoms is beyond the scope of practice for SLT’s. It is however useful for the SLT to have a basic understanding of what the treatment options for GERD are. For more information on the relationship between for GERD, COPD and dysphagia, click here. Management of GERD is the domain of the client’s GP or gastroenterologist. For a discussion of the specialist team dedicated to working with this clinical population, click here.
Treatment of GERD has three main components (Groher & Crary, 2010):
i. Alteration in lifestyle

  • Intake of smoking and alcohol should be ceased
        • Alcohol and smoking impair oesophageal function
  • Avoid lying-down within 3 hours of eating and/or elevate the head 30 cm above LOS
        • This allows gravity to assist in reflux prevention
  • Weight Control
        • Carrying excess weight may contribute to GERD symptoms as well as inadequate respiratio
      • Dietary Modification
        • Avoidance of foods (such as spicy foods) which agitate symptoms is advocated

ii. Medication
  • Acid lowering agents also known as proton-pump inhibitors, when used judiciously, have been noted to ease GERD in the majority of patients

iii. Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Antireflux Surgery (LARS) is an effective surgical procedure that involves twisting the stomach
    Note the twisting of the stomache around the LOS
    around the LOS in order to prevent stomache acids from entering the oesophagus

~References ~
Groher, M.E. & Crary M. (2010). Dysphagia: Clinical Management in Adults and Children. Maryland Heights: Missouri, Mosby, Inc.
Roya K., & Latiolais A. (2010). COPD: Treatment and Maintenance of Dysphagia. Retrieved on Sept 14, 2010 from: