Posts Tagged GERD

In North Texas and Need Acid Reflux Surgery?

Suffering from heartburn or indigestion and don’t really understand what’s going on?, acid reflux surgery in North TexasThe most efficient way of treating reflux symptoms is by stopping the acid secretion completely in your stomach. People normally experience constant irritation including pain in the inner walls of the esophagus and in the abdomen, this is the major symptom of acid reflux. The pain can sometime be unbearable and most people will resort to surgery as their only option.

However, there are some cases where prescribed medicine should be just enough to alleviate the pain. If not, the doctor will most likely recommend acid reflux surgery to which there are many benefits that the patient can obtain from this.

The main reason as to why the surgery is recommended is when the initial treatments for the acid reflux have failed to work. This means that as a patient you will continue to experience the same symptoms even after using drugs. You may also consider surgery if you don’t want to rely on medication for the rest of your life. Ineffective medication obviously means that you need a more permanent solution.

Acid reflux surgery involves the repairing of valves in the stomach so that the acid is blocked completely from entering the esophagus. Once your current condition has been considered and the doctor thinks you are qualified for the surgery, then the decision to go forward or not can be made.

The benefits of acid reflux surgery are vast. The major benefit is that you will experience less discomfort as most of the patients that undergo the surgery never experience heartburn again. It is also known that more than half of the patients who undergo this surgery get cured from respiratory problems such as asthma that is a result of the acid reflux.

Additionally, you should know that bile reflux is a condition that can lead to cancer, and in this case the surgery is the ideal option to avoid all cancerous possibilities.

There are two main methods that are used when performing reflux surgery. These are the fundoplication and the intraluminal endoscopic acid reflex surgery. The first method is done by tightening the esophagus walls so that the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter is increased. This will make it harder for the acid in the stomach to come upwards. The other method uses the same procedures, but the difference is that an endoscope is used this time. The two options are effective and safe with a typically short recovery period.

If heartburn, GERD or other symptoms of acid reflux are hindering your life, check into Ihde Surgical Group and our acid reflux surgery procedures today.

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Prevent GERD & Get a Raise by Getting Fit

What do your paycheck and GERD have in common? They might both benefit from a bit of exercise.

Prevent GERD in Dallas or Ft. Worth & get a raise by getting fit

Forget pumping iron: you might be pumping for more green. At least, that’s what one study from Cleveland State University found. People who exercise at least three times a week make about 10 percent more than those who are inactive. This was true regardless of other health factors, even BMI, so being in definably “good shape” wasn’t the cause of the salary boost.

Exercise is a tricky business when you have GERD. You know that exercise helps you lose weight, which reduces the amount of pressure on your stomach and lower esophageal sphincter (LES). However, going for a vigorous run or doing an activity like push-ups can sometimes trigger acid reflux. When you are suffering from GERD it is sometimes hard to figure out what your best move is—even when you are mentally prepared to get out and be active.

Surgical techniques like Nissen fundoplication can repair damage to the LES, making it possible for GERD sufferers to work out without the interference of heartburn, but until then there are plenty of ways you can work out without aggravating GERD.

The Cleveland State University study found that the salary benefits of being more active came when participants engaged in moderate activity at least three days out of the week. Numerous studies about exercise-induced heartburn found that moderate activity doesn’t affect GERD as much as vigorous activities like running. That means walking, biking and swimming are all realistic options for people with GERD, even before getting corrective treatment like nissen fundoplication.

But why is there a salary boost connected to exercise levels, you ask? Past studies have linked regular exercise with increased intelligence, as well as a more positive attitude and heightened energy levels—all factors that can increase your performance, productivity and likability in the workplace. Working out regularly can make you feel better, which can make you work better, and that may lead to a boost in your pay check.

If finding relief from heartburn wasn’t enough of a reason to get active and lose weight, then maybe the potential of landing a promotion or getting a better position will be the motivation you need to get moving. On average, the amount of income differentiated between those who worked out regularly and those who were sedentary was only about $80 a week, but that adds up to several thousand dollars every year.

Between the health effects of exercising and losing weight for your heartburn and acid reflux, the mental benefits like improved alertness and clarity of mind, and the apparent financial benefits of working out regularly, you might be hard pressed to find an excuse to skip your next workout.


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Letting GERD Go Untreated Increases Risk of Esophageal Cancer

Letting GERD go untreated can increase your risk of esophageal cancer in Dallas or Ft. WorthIt is hard to link the development of a particular type of cancer to an exact cause. There are certain conditions that appear to increase a person’s risk of developing cancer, but the exact level of risk is often a debated detail. The link between heartburn and esophageal cancer has been debated for years.

Those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD are undoubtedly at an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer thanks to the irritation of the esophageal lining from constant exposure to stomach acids. However, the actual likelihood of someone developing esophageal cancer as a result of GERD has always been looked at as small. A team of researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles found that risk of esophageal cancer becomes much larger when heartburn, acid reflux and GERD go untreated, making surgical interventions like Nissen fundoplication in Ft. Worth and Dallas of even more importance.

Researchers at UCLA found that rates of esophageal cancer were six times larger in 2001 than they were in 1975. They partially attributed this increase in the condition to the increase in the amount of heartburn and acid reflux people experience as a result of obesity and following a poor diet. While a lot of people are turning to a GERD surgeon for relief, there are plenty of people avoiding treatment for the concern, thinking that heartburn and acid reflux are common enough problems that don’t require medical or surgical intervention. This is where the problem sets in when it comes to preventing esophageal cancer.

A diagnosis of GERD isn’t a prediction of getting esophageal cancer down the road, but it does increase your risk. The researchers at UCLA found that people who pursued treatment for their GERD and took steps to relieve heartburn and acid reflux were more successful at preventing esophageal cancer than those who resisted treatment early on.

One of the problems that many people run into is that it is hard to differentiate when a problem with heartburn has become something worse if you aren’t already receiving medical attention. A lot of people who develop esophageal cancer don’t experience any symptoms other than heartburn and acid reflux. If you aren’t willing to seek medical help for your chronic heartburn, early signs of cancer may go untreated as the disease continues to spread.

There are plenty of lifestyle habits that can make a small impact on the amount and severity of heartburn you are experiencing, but these dietary and exercise habits often aren’t enough to make real changes in the severity of GERD. Allowing your GERD to go untreated will only increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer, so it is in your best interest to seek treatment early on for regular heartburn and acid reflux.


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Gluten Free, GERD Free?

Can going gluten free help you stop GERD in Ft. Worth or Dallas?Those who experience the bouts of heartburn and acid reflux that are a regular part of living with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD know the benefits of making lifestyle changes in their diet and exercise habits. Eating less acidic foods, making alterations to the amount of food you eat at one time, choosing when to dine and how soon after you eat to engage in physical activity all impact the severity of heartburn and reflux.

After getting surgical treatment like Nissen fundoplication in Dallas and Ft. Worth, many people are able to return to former habits without the interference of heartburn and reflux, but before getting surgery a lot of people cling to ideas of cure-all diets they hope might work. One of the more popular diet fads to take Dallas and Ft. Worth by storm is the gluten-free diet—a diet that was founded thanks to a gluten allergy among people with celiac disease. A small body of research has linked celiac disease and GERD, but before you swear off wheat, barley and rye it is smart to learn the ins and outs of the gluten-free and GERD connection.

Can Gluten Cause GERD?

In 2011 an article was published in Diseases of the Esophagus that outlined the findings of numerous studies, citing that a gluten free diet can control heartburn and acid reflux. One study in particular examined the effects of GERD medications on gluten-intolerant people who followed a strict gluten-free diet. The researchers found that those on the gluten-free diet responded more favorably to GERD treatment than those not following the diet. However, this study was among gluten intolerant people, and so the results aren’t necessarily relevant for those without gluten intolerance.

Only about one percent of the U.S population has celiac disease, but there are many more people who are at least mildly sensitive to gluten and unaware of their sensitivity. Since wheat is such a common part of the American diet, a lot of people feel ill without knowing what the source of the problem is.

Research regarding GERD and gluten-free diets indicates that if you are allergic or sensitive to gluten, then a gluten free diet might alleviate symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. However, if frequent heartburn has led to irritation of the esophageal lining or damage to the lower esophageal sphincter, then simply eliminating gluten from your diet isn’t going to fix the damage that has already been done. Also, if you don’t have a gluten allergy, there is little proof that a gluten-free diet will help your heartburn.

So, while a gluten free diet might help some find relief from frequent heartburn, it doesn’t work for everyone. Before making any changes to your diet it is best that you speak with your physician.


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For GERD, Rethinking Drinking

Rethink what you drink for GERD in Ft. Worth or DallasIf you suffer from persistent heartburn or acid reflux, your reflux specialist has likely stressed the importance of monitoring your dietary and lifestyle habits to successfully manage the symptoms of your GERD. Ft. Worth and Dallas are home to some of the nation’s most famous Southern-style restaurants, offering residents and visitors alike a true taste of Texas with recipes from spicy chili to fried chicken. Unfortunately for many sufferers of GERD, eating such spicy or rich foods isn’t always the best idea for dealing with unruly acid reflux.

However, a new study published by Mayo Clinic reveals it’s not always the foods you eat that exacerbate symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux—in fact, sufferers may want to pay more attention to what they’re drinking. Even for non-sufferers of GERD, occasional bouts of heartburn or reflux can still occur. When this happens, most are quick to point the blame at heavy or fatty meals they’re eating rather than the beverages they’re drinking.

Why Certain Drinks Affect Heartburn and GERD

Alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated beverages all have a temporary yet direct effect on heartburn. Such drinks have the ability to affect heartburn or acid reflux via a ring of muscle that’s located at the junction between the stomach and esophagus known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Specifically, consuming alcohol causes the esophageal sphincter to relax, creating an opening that should otherwise be closed except when food is passing through the esophagus. As a result, stomach acids can easily reflux back into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation that many experience in their chest and throat.

The same goes for beverages containing caffeine like coffee or tea. The caffeine in such drinks also has the ability to relax the LES, making it easier for stomach acids to flow back into the esophageal tract. However, it’s important to note that not everyone who drinks alcoholic or caffeinated beverages will experience symptoms of reflux or heartburn. Some people may be predisposed to such conditions and have a weak or faulty LES in the first place. Also, being severely overweight or obese can significantly increase one chances of experiencing such symptoms.

This is not to say that cutting back on alcohol or caffeine will alleviate symptoms of GERD, but it may help for those who experience occasional bouts of heartburn. Occasional sufferers of heartburn may also benefit from making small changes to their diets, but not necessarily changes that include eliminating spicy or citrus-based foods assumed to exacerbate heartburn. According to one of the researchers from the Mayo Clinic study, people are afraid of orange juice or tomato sauce (foods believed to trigger heartburn) but, in fact, there’s no clear link between such foods and acid reflux.

To successfully avoid occasional bouts of heartburn or acid reflux, it’s best to practice a little common sense and take a mindful approach to eating. If you know a particular food is sure to disagree with you, avoid it—but you should modify the way you eat along with what you eat. It’s simple: avoid consuming large meals in a short amount of time. Instead, slow down and eat smaller meals. Take your time savoring each bite of your food, paying close attention to its smell, texture and taste as you chew slowly. Do this for each small meal you consume and it may help with symptoms of reflux.


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Common Heartburn Myths

Common myths about heartburn, reflux and GERD in Ft. WorthWith common conditions like heartburn and GERD, it doesn’t take long before Ft. Worth is filled with rumors and old wives’ tales about treatment options and causes. Once enough people are coping with a condition, myths about causes and treatments develop overnight. Know this: once your lower esophageal sphincter becomes dysfunctional, the only successful treatment for GERD is surgical intervention like Nissen fundoplication.

Some myths about heartburn lead people to believe that the pain is no big deal and there is nothing you can do about it, while others lead people to try absurd home remedies that can end up making the pain worse.

Here are a few of the most common heartburn myths we’ve heard from around Dallas and Ft. Worth.

  • Heartburn relief is an antacid away: A lot of people believe that no matter how severe or frequent their heartburn is they can find relief through antacids—lots of antacids. This leads people to start popping antacids like Tic Tacs, ultimately introducing the at-first seldom use of medication as a regular part of their diet. If you are experiencing frequent heartburn then you are most likely in need of more comprehensive treatment.
  • Heartburn is only caused by a poor diet: While it is true that certain acidic foods aggravate heartburn, chronic heartburn is often a result of a damaged lower esophageal sphincter. If the LES doesn’t close properly then acid is able to escape from the stomach and aggravate the esophageal lining—leading to heartburn and acid reflux.
  • Heartburn is annoying, but not medically serious: The occasional bout of heartburn might not be indicative of a more serious concern, but a damaged LES and regular heartburn can cause damage to the esophageal lining. While severe health consequences from heartburn are rare, developing conditions like Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer are not out of the realm of possibility as a result of untreated chronic heartburn and acid reflux.
  • The only cure to nighttime heartburn is to sleep sitting up: There are plenty of ways you can manage to get a good night’s sleep with nighttime heartburn, and you don’t need to sit erect all night in order to do so. Putting a few extra pillows under your head at night to keep you slightly elevated often helps, as does slightly lifting the top of your bed. Avoiding large meals at night and after dinner snacks are also generally helpful in avoiding nighttime heartburn.

Approximately 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn, and a large percentage of those people are pursuing treatment with their acid reflux specialist so they don’t need to cope with the irritating symptoms day and night. Treating your heartburn can provide you with a better night’s sleep, the ability to enjoy a healthier diet and a more active lifestyle without the interference of heartburn.


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