Posts Tagged Heartburn

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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Acid Reflux through the Ages

Reflux Surgery Wasn’t Always an OptionYou can contact your GERD surgeon about reflux surgery now, but what used to be done for reflux relief?

Acid reflux has been a problem for centuries, and there haven’t always been the technologically advanced cures and comprehensive medical treatments that we have today. What would Fred Flintstone have done if he had a bout of heartburn? There was no GERD surgeon offering reflux surgery in Bedrock. What about back in the first century, when cases of heartburn were first being documented?

The Romans started struggling with heartburn during the first century. Pliny the Edler, a famous naturalist of the Roman Era, used “coral powder” to treat heartburn, a type of calcium carbonate that is still used in certain heartburn medications today. Of course, this early medication didn’t offer much relief from the burning pain that was affecting the health of people across the world at this time.

The Greeks took a shot at curing heartburn in the second century and came up with a term for the ailment while writing about its symptoms. Galen, the famed Greek physician, called heartburn “kardialgia,” which means heart pain.

Successful treatment for heartburn wasn’t an option until several decades ago.

As time went on and civilizations continued developing into city-bound cultures, more and more people started experiencing heartburn. Until recently, there wasn’t much more to do about the pain than there was during the first and second century.

Herbal remedies, dietary tricks and lifestyle adjustments have been recommended for hundreds of years, but often to no avail. As you might know from firsthand experience, small adjustments and dietary supplements aren’t always enough to ease the burn. Once the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is damaged, you are in need of specialized medical care to keep stomach acid in its place.

Luckily, you don’t have to cope with the same lack of treatment methods that our ancestors faced. Natural treatments that were used in the past are still around, and often function as great complementary treatments for acid reflux relief. They are not, however, as powerful or useful as reflux surgery, and you shouldn’t try any natural remedy without first discussing the treatment with your GERD surgeon.

People had to make lots of assumptions about how to treat their heartburn in the past, but you don’t need to do that. Be thankful that you live when and where you do. In Dallas and Ft. Worth you have plenty of options for comprehensive heartburn treatment, so there is no reason to suffer through your heartburn any longer.

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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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An Olympian’s Struggle with GERD

Like patients of GERD in Dallas and Ft. Worth, many olympic athletes struggle with heartburnAs the 2012 London summer games approach we are hearing more and more about the endurance and triumph of athletes who are gearing up to compete in the Olympic Games. We hear stories about asthma, injuries and traumatic events that impacted their lives and inspired them to achieve greatness, but one condition we don’t hear too much about is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Despite the healthy diets and active lifestyles that Olympic athletes engage in, a number of athletes privately cope with the same acid reflux and heartburn as those of us here in Dallas and Ft. Worth.

One such athlete is Mark Spitz. The famed Olympian who won seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics in Munich battled with severe heartburn during his years as a competitive swimmer, but it wasn’t until after he retired and took the role as sports commentator that he was diagnosed with acid reflux disease. Spitz reflects that he thought his reflux and esophageal agitation was a result of the chlorine that he would inadvertently ingest as he swam towards the finish line.

Spitz began experiencing acid reflux symptoms in his early 20s, and despite his late diagnosis his physician predicts that he was probably suffering from GERD during a large part of his Olympic career. Years later, Spitz continues to manage his acid reflux symptoms with the use of proton pump inhibitors or PPIs that he must take daily.

Spitz is not the only Olympic swimmer to combat gastroesophageal reflux disease. Laura Wilkinson competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing while coping with GERD. This Texas native is known more for her Gold medal winning performance in the 2000 Olympic Games with a broken foot than she is for her heartburn symptoms, but the athlete stands as an active model today for others who are struggling with reflux.

While not all of us are able to take our heartburn to the Olympic Games, the example set by these two Gold medal swimmers is paramount. Acid reflux is a hassle, but it can be managed. These athletes followed a healthy diet and would exercise regularly, but the reflux still didn’t stop. Sometimes, despite your best efforts to make the right lifestyle changes it is difficult to manage GERD without medical support.

There is no reason to suffer through regular heartburn and acid reflux. Talk with Dr. Ihde to develop a medical strategy for treating your GERD.


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Treating Indigestion in Children

Indigestion is a fairly common health condition that causes some unpleasant symptoms. One of the most frequent types of indigestion, acid reflux, occurs when digestive acids from the stomach back up into the esophagus, causing sore throat, heart burn, vomiting and other symptoms. If your child experiences these symptoms, particularly after eating, he or she may be experiencing acid reflux. Fortunately, there are effective methods for treating indigestion in Dallas.

In minor cases, prevention and home remedies can resolve indigestion in children. You may notice that your child has acid reflux after eating certain foods, such as fatty and fried foods, onions, and acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes. Try to avoid or limit these foods in your child’s diet. Taking small bites and chewing food thoroughly can also help by making food easier to digest. If your child eats before naps or bedtime, have him or her sleep propped up on an extra pillow to keep the head elevated and prevent acid from bubbling up into the esophagus. It may also help to adjust meal times so that your child is awake for two hours after eating, allowing for the food to partially digest before lying down.

If home remedies don’t take care of your child’s indigestion, it could be time to seek medical help. Your pediatrician or general practitioner may be able to prescribe treatment, or may refer you to a specialist with experience in treating indigestion in Dallas. If your child is diagnosed with acid reflux, the physician may prescribe medications or special diets to help treat the indigestion.

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Chronic Heartburn

Heartburn is a common problem from many people in the Arlington area. Heartburn and acid reflux occur when acid and bile from the stomach rise back up into the esophagus. Chronic heartburn is when heartburn occurs more than two to three times in a week. Overtime, the repetitive presence of acid in your esophagus could cause other issues to develop, such as GERD or Barrett’s Esophagus. It is important to understand exactly what is acid reflux, and what conditions acid reflux and heartburn put you at risk for.

Basic symptoms of heartburn can range from mild to severe, depending on each individual. Most sufferers experience a burning sensation in the throat and chest area accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth. Some people say they feel as if food is stuck in their throat. There are several different options for treatment in the care and prevention of chronic heartburn, and the best option for you depends on the personal symptoms that you are experiencing, which makes it crucial to consult with a physician.

For many people, lifestyle changes such as making slight dietary restrictions and avoiding heartburn triggers help relieve and prevent pain. In other situations, medications are the best route for treatment. While different home remedies may bring relief from your acid reflux, it is important to remember that these should only be used sparingly and that chronic heartburn signals the need for a doctor visit in Arlington. Chronic heartburn can be and should be properly treated before it escalates into more serious problems.

If you experience heartburn and acid reflux regularly, you should contact your Arlington physician. If left untreated, this chronic condition can cause long term damage and lead to more serious medical issues such as:

  • Asthma, pneumonia and other respiratory problems
  • Tooth decay– as the enamel is eroded by the strong stomach acids, cavities and other dental problems may occur.
  • Ulcers
  • Precancerous problems such as Barrett’s Esophagus, which makes patients more susceptible to esophageal cancer in the future.


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Gastric Acid, Heartburn and GERD

The burning sensation of heartburn is what happens when the acids from your stomach escape into your esophagus. When this happens two or more times a week, doctors diagnose it as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

Many different factors can cause GERD, and its symptoms. Besides heartburn, GERD symptoms can include gas, bloating, nausea, and regurgitation of digestive fluid. GERD occurs when the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus becomes weak and allows gastric acid to escape. Left untreated, it can cause ulcers or serious complications like Barrett’s esophagus or even esophageal cancer.

GERD can be treated with over the counter antacids, or medications that help reduce acid for longer periods of time. You doctor may prescribe one, or direct you to take one that is available without a prescription.

You can also help control GERD by avoiding the foods and drinks that can trigger it. Not all people are triggered by the same foods, so, keeping track of the foods that cause your heartburn may help. Some common triggers include:

  • Fatty foods, such as fried foods and whole fat cheeses
  • Spicy foods like hot sauce and chili
  • Acidic foods, like tomatoes and pickles
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Carbonated beverages such as sodas
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea

Changes to your lifestyle can also help reduce symptoms. Smoking causes the esophageal sphincter, the muscle between the stomach and esophagus, to weaken. Wearing tight clothing can cause pressure that can exacerbate GERD. Many people find that when they lose weight, they find relief from GERD symptoms.

If you experience any of the symptoms of GERD on a regular basis, talk to a doctor here in the Dallas area about the right treatment for you.


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Put a Stop to Nighttime Heartburn

People suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Dallas, Texas, and elsewhere know it’s hard to get a restful night’s sleep when heartburn strikes. Painful acid reflux not only disturbs your rest, over time, it damages the esophagus. Following a few simple strategies can drastically reduce the severity of nighttime heartburn.

  1. Watch what you eat, especially within a few hours of going to bed. If your heartburn trigger foods are high acid citrus fruits or tomato-based sauces, avoid them. Heavy fried or greasy foods are other common heartburn causing dishes. Know your triggers and don’t eat them later in the day. Skip the pizza and have a grilled chicken breast for dinner instead.
  2. Eating healthy has numerous benefits. Avoiding your trigger foods will decrease the frequency and severity of heartburn. Concentrating on eating nutritious, low-fat foods calms acid indigestion and may also contribute to weight loss. Overweight and obese people are especially prone to gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  3. Try eating smaller, more frequent meals to ensure that your stomach can easily digest the food. Big meals overfill the stomach and make it easier for food and stomach acid to escape into the esophagus. Eating more frequently keeps hunger under control so you aren’t tempted to overeat at meals.
  4. Use the power of gravity to tame nighttime acid reflux. By keeping your head and upper body elevated, it is much less likely for stomach acid to flow upwards into the esophagus. Use a few pillows or one of the specially designed upright support pillows to maintain a comfortable yet beneficial position during the night. It may take a few nights to get used to, but the results will be worth it.


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Tips To Avoid Night Time Heartburn

Many of us suffer from heartburn or what is clinically referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The symptoms may be chronic or they may be caused by certain foods in our diet. Night time heartburn is not only uncomfortable and painful, but it may also cost us valuable sleep and ruin an otherwise great day following a night of discomfort.

Following several simple rules may help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or at the very least lessen the bouts of heartburn that would otherwise keep us up all night long.

The most important tip to remember is to avoid the foods that may trigger episodes of heartburn. The most common culprits are foods with a higher acid content such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and vinegar. Along with those, it may be smart to avoid spicy foods as well if they trigger your gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Drinks that contain caffeine such as soda, tea and coffee can cause bouts of heartburn along with alcohol drinks.

While some of the foods we have gone over can cause heartburn by stimulating gastric acid, others may cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in a different fashion. Greasy foods such as fast food and high fat dressings like mayonnaise may cause heartburn symptoms by weakening the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Caffeinated drinks can actually weaken the lower esophageal sphincter as well as stimulate gastric acid production.

Along with avoiding certain foods that may cause heartburn it is recommended that you adjust your eating schedule to keep your gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at bay. Avoiding late night meals allows your body time to digest a meal before bedtime and can help avoid the night time discomfort. It is also a good idea to reduce the size of your meals so that bouts of heartburn are avoided. Eating slower can allow your stomach time to inform your brain that it is full. Eating slower can reduce the amount of food you eat and help you to avoid heartburn.

Following these easy tips can help you get a restful night sleep and avoid the discomfort of heartburn.


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Endoscopic GERD treatment

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a condition that occurs when the sphincter valve at the top opening of the stomach loses its ability to properly regulate the passage of food and liquids. As a result, stomach acid can pass the sphincter muscle and enter the esophagus, causing heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

There are several treatments available for GERD that involve an endoscopic evaluation of the esophagus. During an endoscopic procedure, your surgeon will place a tiny camera on the end of a tube-like instrument which is then lowered into the esophagus to allow surgeons to surgically tighten the sphincter muscle.

Endoscopic suturing is one such treatment. Surgeons use a device that is much like a minuscule sewing machine which is affixed to an endoscope. The surgeon then uses this device to sew folds into the stomach at the esophagus opening. These folds help strengthen the sphincter. Endoscopic suturing is a popular alternative to laparoscopic surgery which is performed through the entrance of several tiny holes made in the abdomen.

Another endoscopic treatment is called the Stretta procedure. With this procedure a tiny balloon is released from the end of the endoscope. The balloon is inflated and as it inflates four tiny electrodes are inserted around the esophagus and stomach junction. Radio frequency waves are then sent through these electrodes which cause scar tissue to build-up, narrowing the opening of the esophagus and thereby preventing reflux.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a serious condition that if left untreated, can cause esophageal cancer and other more serious complications. If you suffer from regular heartburn then talk with your doctor in Dallas or Ft. Worth and make sure that you get the proper treatment.

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