If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or don’t wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, you’re not alone. As we age, sleep patterns become more fragmented and we wake up more easily—two factors that often prevent us from getting a good seven to nine hours of sleep each
Tag: gastroesophageal reflux disease gerd
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition in which acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. GERD is sometimes referred to as acid reflux, reflux, acid indigestion, or heartburn, although these conditions can be transient, while GERD usually persists long-term.
About 20 percent of Americans have GERD. The condition occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a valve that is intended to keep acids in the stomach, doesn?t close properly. As a result, acid is able to rise up into the esophagus. Several conditions can cause the LES to malfunction, including pregnancy, a hiatal hernia, or drugs used to treat asthma, high blood pressure, and allergy symptoms.
The most common GERD symptom is a burning feeling in the chest known as heartburn. People with this condition also complain of nausea, problems swallowing, and vomiting. The acid can produce a metallic taste in the mouth and cause bad breath.
Doctors diagnose GERD with an upper GI endoscopy, in which a thin, flexible tube is used to see inside the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the intestine. The doctor may take a sample of tissue from the lining of the esophagus, which is called a biopsy. Or, you may have a series of x-rays taken of your upper GI tract after you drink barium. The doctor might also measure the amount of acid in the esophagus?a test called esophageal pH and impedance monitoring.
To treat GERD, you can try lifestyle changes, such as avoiding greasy or spicy foods, eating smaller portions, and losing weight if you?re overweight. Medicines for GERD work in different ways. Antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, or Rolaids neutralize acid to prevent it from burning the esophagus. H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) decrease acid production. Prokinetics help your stomach empty quicker. Some of these medicines require a prescription.
“Heartburn” isn’t actually a medical term, but it’s one of the most commonly used words to describe symptoms of the upper gastrointestinal tract. An estimated 20 to 40 percent of adults report having chronic heartburn. Yet most people are confused by the symptom and how it differs from indigestion, reflux,
It’s easy to reach for antacids or prescription medications when the fiery pain of heartburn strikes. But you may find more relief by changing your diet and lifestyle instead. Heartburn is just one symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that is often related to the foods you eat
If you were to list symptoms of a heart attack, you’d probably start with chest pain. You might follow that up with shortness of breath and nausea. These are all correct, but they don’t tell the whole story. A comprehensive list of heart attack signs includes many symptoms that the
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs caused by bacteria, a virus (such as the flu virus), or another infectious agent. The severity of pneumonia depends on several factors, including which germ is responsible, and the strength of the individual’s immune system.
When the immune system detects an infection,
Asthma is a chronic disease that often starts in childhood but can occur for the first time in adulthood, even later in life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18.4 million adults and 6.2 million children in the United States have asthma.
Asthma causes inflammation in the
Q: I recently started taking a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for heartburn, but I have heard conflicting news about the safety of these medications. Are there risks of cognition problems and depression associated with PPIs?
A: PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid produced by glands in the stomach lining.
Proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) are some of the most commonly used drugs. When used for short-term treatment, they are safe and effective for managing gastroesophageal reflux disease, healing peptic ulcers, and reducing gastropathy that is associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Safe in the Short Term, but Often Overused. Studies have found, however,
Q: Potatoes are a vegetable, so why aren’t French fries good for you? Are the nutrients destroyed in the frying process?
A: “A medium baked potato (with skin) is a good source of potassium, vitamins C and B6, and fiber. But potatoes don’t contain other nutrients, such as the carotenoids and phytochemicals
After you chew and swallow food, it travels down your esophagus and into the stomach. Most of the time, you don’t even think about the simple, everyday act of chewing and swallowing—after all, you’ve been doing it since you were born. But sometimes, people have trouble chewing their food into