Reflux (Heartburn) Prevention and Treatments

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Lifestyle Changes
Reflux and Diet
Reflux and GERD Treatments
Reflux Prevention Forum Discussions

Overview of GERD Prevention and Treatments

Hearburn CollageHeartburn (reflux) is very common in the general population. It can often be managed well with lifestyle changes, such as changing eating habits, sleeping differently, and increasing your activities. When lifestyle changes alone don't work, more agreesive preventive measures such as medications or even surgery (in severe cases) may be required.

Heartburn (reflux) is quite common in people with systemic scleroderma; therefore, preventing reflux, or at least, reducing its severity is very important in preventing esophegeal damage. (Also see Scleroderma Gastrointestinal Involvement, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, and Systemic Sclerosis)

What is a reasonable approach to the management of GERD? There are several ways to approach the evaluation and management of GERD. The approach depends primarily on the frequency and severity of symptoms, the adequacy of the response to treatment, and the presence of complications. MedicineNet.

Lifestyle Changes

10 Lifestyle Changes That Can Prevent Heartburn. VeryWell.

Hold the Heartburn: Heartburn Log. Tracking your triggers can help manage heartburn effectively and naturally. WebMD.

10 Steps to Lessening Nighttime Heartburn. If staying up all night isn't the option you are prepared to take for handling your nighttime heartburn, the following suggestions should help you. VeryWell.

Heartburn: To relieve nighttime reflux, sleep on your left side. "If all reflux sufferers followed this advice, we'd see a lot less nighttime reflux," says Dr. Don Castell of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Why does sleeping on your left side reduce night reflux? Check out the position of the stomach and the opening into the esophagus. When you sleep on your left side, gravity helps to keep the contents in the stomach. Roll over on your right side and those contents could flow into the esophagus, especially if you have problems with your esophageal sphincter (valve between stomach and esophagus) or a hiatal hernia.

Reflux and Diet

Good Foods, Bad Foods, Recipes, Menus. Charts to show you what you can eat and what you shouldn't. Heartburn-free recipes. There are also links to menus with heartburn-friendly foods. VeryWell.

Use Beano before eating foods that are troublesome.

How to Help Ease Your Heartburn. What exactly is heartburn? It occurs when the acidic contents of your stomach back up, or reflux, into the esophagus and cause pain and a burning feeling. Times Healthland, 03/20/2017.

Treatments for Reflux and GERD

Risk of death among users of Proton Pump Inhibitors: a longitudinal observational cohort study of United States veterans. The results suggest excess risk of death among PPI users; risk is also increased among those without gastrointestinal conditions and with prolonged duration of use. BMJ Open, June 2017.

Heartburn Drugs Tied to Kidney Problems. Proton pump inhibitors, or P.P.I.s, the commonly used heartburn medicines, may increase the risk for kidney disease. New York Times, 01/14/2016.

Methotrexate and heartburn drugs alert. Using both drugs at the same time many increase the amount of methotrexate in the blood leading to side-effects, including kidney failure, low red blood cell count, inflammation of the digestive tract, irregular heartbeat, muscle pain, infections and diarrhea. CBC News. 10/19/12. (Also see Methotrexate)

Understanding Heartburn: Treatment. Your health care provider may suggest antacids for occasional heartburn. Sometimes, more potent medications such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors may be needed, especially for persistent symptoms. WebMD.

G.I. Cocktail. Ask your doctor about this! It's a mixture of Maalox, Donnatol, and Xylocaine which can quell severe heartburn/reflux right away. Many SD patients give it rave reviews.


In severe cases of heartburn, where medication does not help or there are complications, surgery may be done.

GERD Surgery: Nissen Fundoplication. In this procedure, the surgeon wraps the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter, making it less likely that acid will back up in the esophagus. Mayo Clinic.

Surgical management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients with systemic sclerosis. Laparoscopic Roux–en–Y gastric bypasses as an anti–reflux procedure is safe and may provide an alternative to fundoplication in the treatment of GERD for systemic sclerosis patients with esophageal dysmotility. PubMed, Surg Endosc, 02/12/2018.

Esophageal surgeries in systemic sclerosis (SSc) — a systematic review of the literature. There is clearly a need for careful, controlled studies in uniform groups of SSc patients before being able to rationally recommend esophageal surgery for dysphagia/heartburn in SSc. Journal of Scleroderma and Related Disorders, 02/08/2016.

Nissen Fundoplication Surgery Personal Stories

Jon F: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) I believe my vagus nerve was damaged in some way during the Nissen fundoplication surgery or as a result of it…

Moomary: Diffuse Scleroderma The endoscopy showed that my esophagus does not close at all when I swallow. The surgeon suggested that he could do a Nissen Fundoplication…

Rosie: Limited Systemic Sclerosis (Australia) Some of my symptoms may not be due to limited scleroderma, however most of these symptoms have appeared since my diagnosis…

Sclero Forum Discussions

Has anyone noticed reflux intensifying at night and making sleep difficult? I have become nocturnal…

For those with reflux issues, a recommendation. About 1 1/2 months ago, my wife scheduled an appointment with a Nutritionist…

Toupet Fundoplication, Surgery to relieve acid reflux. I went through a surgical procedure, Toupet Fundoplication to relieve my acid reflux problems.. This is a partial wrap…

Go to Reflux

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