Category Archives: acid reflux

7 Ways to Calm Your Upset Stomach – Harvard

This seemed particularly timely in view of the fact that Thanksgiving is little more than a heartburn away.  Harvard HEALTHBeat Offers the following:

“Maybe you’ve just eaten, or finished a meal an hour or so ago — and now your stomach just doesn’t “feel right.” You feel bloated and uncomfortable. Or maybe it’s more of a burning sensation. Maybe you feel queasy, or even throw up. You might say you have an “upset stomach” or indigestion. If there is no known medical cause for your symptoms, your doctor would call it “dyspepsia” or “bad digestion.”

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“Indigestion is real. The medical term for persistent upper abdominal pain or discomfort without an identifiable medical cause is functional dyspepsia. The symptoms can come and go at any time, but often eating is the trigger. Sometimes the discomfort begins during the meal; other times, about half an hour later.

“If you suffer from functional dyspepsia, you’re not alone. Roughly 25% of the population is affected, and it hits men and women equally. It’s responsible for a significant percentage of visits to primary care doctors, in part because many people worry they might have an ulcer. While it’s frustrating that the cause of functional dyspepsia is unknown, it’s even more frustrating that there is no surefire cure.

The good news is that there are simple things you can try to help get some relief:

1    Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms.
2    Eat small portions and don’t overeat; try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, and be sure to chew food slowly and completely.
3    Avoid activities that result in swallowing excess air, such as smoking, eating quickly, chewing gum, and drinking carbonated beverages.
4    Reduce your stress. Try relaxation therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, or exercise. An aerobic workout 3-5 times per week can help, but don’t exercise right after eating.
5    Get enough rest.
6    Don’t lie down within two hours of eating.
7    Keep your weight under control.

For more on diagnosing and treating indigestion, buy The Sensitive Gut.

Tony

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What is Acid Reflux – GERD?

Acid Reflux, or Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) occurs when stomach contents rise up into the esophagus, according to Sri Komanduri, MD MS Interventional Gastroenterology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

Dr. Komanduri was speaking before a Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program®.

He said the stomach contents that could rise up into the esophagus include acid, pepsin and bile which normally aid in digestion.

The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn.

If the symptoms persist for at least three months, it is called GERD.

Dr. Komanduri said that triggers and non-anatomical causes of GERD include Foods and Drinks, Caffeine, citric acid, red sauces, chocolate and alcohol, obesity, poor eating habits like eating late, eating too much at once and lying down less than three hours after eating. Pregnancy is a cause for the mother-to-be. Smoking was the final cause he listed, saying that nicotine relaxes smooth muscle.

Finally, GERD occurs in about 20 percent to 40 percent of the population.

Dr. Komanduri said that a patient should consider seeing his doctor if there is an onset of GERD after age 40. Also, if a person has symptoms every week for more than three months. ‘Alarm symptoms’ such as trouble swallowing, painful swallowing, vomiting or weight loss should all cause a doctor visit. Lastly, if there is a family history of esophageal cancer, one should see a doctor.

Tony

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Filed under acid reflux, aging, gerd, heartburn