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More than 40 precent of Americans experience heartburn. If you’re one of them, click here to watch this video on treating heartburn.
Transcript: Up to 44 percent of Americans experience frequent bouts of heartburn. If you're among them, look no further...
Up to 44 percent of Americans experience frequent bouts of heartburn. If you're among them, look no further for relief. Heartburn is a painful condition caused by stomach acids seeping upward into the esophagus. Anyone who has experienced this burning sensation knows that it's not a pleasant feeling! If you're suffering from heartburn now, you may find instant relief with an over-the-counter antacid, like Tums. Anatacids work by neutralizing acid in the stomach, so that when the acid enters the esophagus, it will be weaker, and therefore, less painful. Antacids work rapidly, but they don't last for long. If you need to take antacids more than several times a month, or don't experience relief using them, your doctor may recommend you try a different medication, such as histamine-2, or H2, blockers. Histamine is a chemical in the body that stimulates acid secretion. H2-blockers stop the histamine from binding to acid-secreting cells, thereby hindering acid production. Most H2-blockers are available over-the-counter in low doses, although some require a prescription for higher concentrations. H2-blockers, like Zantac and Axid, last longer than antacids, but they also take longer to absorb into the body. Sometimes an hour is needed to feel the effects. For this reason, you may want to try an OTC medication that combines an antacid and an H2-blocker, so you get the quick onset of action combined with sustained relief. If neither antacids nor H2-blockers ease your heartburn symptoms, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, like Nexium and Prevacid. Acid is released from cells in the stomach by a mechanism known as a proton pump. PPIs block the pump from releasing acid, effectively stopping heartburn before it starts. Both H2-blockers and PPIs are preventative medications, meaning that they work best if taken about an hour before a big, or potentially problematic, meal is consumed. Sometimes, combining medications with lifestyle modifications can be so effective that heartburn doesn't return. Avoiding foods that are known to cause heartburn, like chocolate, peppermint, spice, citrus products, tomato products, alcohol and caffeine, is the easiest way to prevent heartburn from occurring. In addition to avoiding problem foods, eating smaller meals may help to prevent the condition. Or, try using gravity to your advantage. Avoid lying down for 3 hours after meals, as this prevents stomach contents from traveling backwards to your esophagus. If nighttime heartburn has you tossing and turning, you may benefit from propping your head up with a pillow, You can also try sleeping on your left side. Your esophagus starts on the right side of your body, so this prevents food in your stomach from pressing on the opening and leading to reflux. Because being overweight puts excess pressure on the stomach, obese people more often suffer from heartburn. So just losing a small amount of weight can ease painful symptoms. While heartburn is never welcome, a variety of lifestyle modifications can help you put out the fire. And please: Remember to see your doctor if you have chronic heartburn or pain that resists treatment.More »
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What you eat and how you manage your life-style greatly impacts your digestive system. Watch our video on combating common GI woes to learn more.
Transcript: Integrating nutrition, exercise, and the right medical information into a sound plan for good health...
Integrating nutrition, exercise, and the right medical information into a sound plan for good health may be tough, but we've got just the right person to help you. Coach Kendra is an expert nutritionist, a professional personal trainer, and she's certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Coach Kendra, how can our diet and exercise choices affect our digestive health. Digestive health is intimately linked to what you eat - after all, the digestive process is what breaks the food that you consume into energy and nutrients. Most people who are concerned about their digestive health are worried about a particular problem such as heartburn, diarrhea, or constipation. Each of these conditions has slightly different nutritional needs. People with heartburn are quick to blame their woes on what they eat - but the real culprit is often the way they eat. Two quick ways to get your heartburn in check are to eat less food at each sitting and to avoid eating right before you go to bed. While some people ultimately find that certain foods cause heartburn for them no matter what, many others discover that heartburn can be avoided without eliminating their favorite dishes. Yoga can also be used to help relieve heartburn. Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point in their life. If it happens to you, there are a few simple steps you can take to restore normal movement. The first thing to do is to increase your fiber intake by eating more fruits, vegetables and grains. Fiber helps form soft, bulky stool to increase your regularity. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water and walking for 20 to 30 minutes each day can also help get things moving. There are also some Yoga moves that can help with constipation. For people who are suffering from Diarrhea, what you eat and drink can affect how long it takes to get better. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water, because diarrhea dehydrates you, and you'll need to replace lost fluids. For additional relief from diarrhea, you can try a little Yoga. Small changes in diet and exercise can be a big help for digestive conditions like these. However, if these digestive ailments persist for more than a couple of days, or you experience fever, chills, or any other unusual symptom, please make sure to see a doctor right away.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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Understanding the symptoms and causes of heartburn better will help you manage this condition. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Over 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month-that's a lot of people, a lot of...
Over 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month-that's a lot of people, a lot of the time! Learn more about this common condition. Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart! Actually, heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the esophagus which is caused by acid that refluxes, or seeps up, from the stomach. When you swallow, food passes down the throat through a long tube, the esophagus, to the stomach. A muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, opens to allow food into the stomach, and then it closes again. At this point, the stomach releases strong acids to help break down the food you've eaten. But if the LES opens too often or doesn't close tightly, that stomach acid can reflux into your esophagus, causing the painful sensation known as heartburn. There are several things that can contribute to the LES that doesn't tighten or close as it should. In up to 90 percent of cases, the cause is diet. The foods most commonly linked to heartburn include chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato sauces, peppermint-flavoring, and spicy foods, although every sufferer has unique triggers and trigger combinations. Alcohol, especially red wine, caffeinated beverages and tobacco products can also contribute to a flare-up. Another cause of heartburn is constant pressure on the stomach. For this reason, many people who are obese suffer from the condition. Additionally, 50 percent of pregnant women experience recurrent heartburn, due to the weight of the baby on their stomach. Occasionally, certain medical conditions can cause bouts of heartburn. In people with diabetes, for example, gastroparesis can lead to the condition. Gastroparesis is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty, occasionally causing its contents to regurgitate into the esophagus. A hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes into the esophagus. This can allow stomach acid to back-up and cause heartburn. Asthma has also been linked to a likelihood of heartburn, but the connection is still unclear. Some experts believe that acid in the esophagus triggers an asthma attack by irritating airway nerves. Others suppose that an asthmatic cough can cause the LES to relax. Certain medications can also cause bouts of heartburn. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs like Alleve and Advil in particular, are known to trigger symptoms. Because prescription medications can lead to heartburn, too, it's important to talk to your doctor if you're experiencing frequent heartburn while taking prescriptions. Occasional bouts of heartburn, while uncomfortable, are usually not indicative of a bigger problem. However, if heartburn occurs daily or doesn't respond to basic treatment, you may have a more serious problem and should see your doctor immediately.More »
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Understanding GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is important because it can lead to esophageal cancer. Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatments of GERD in this video.
Transcript: Up to 7 million people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Unfamiliar with the term?...
Up to 7 million people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Unfamiliar with the term? Keep watching! GERD, or acid reflux disease, occurs when there is a backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Although heartburn is a frequent symptom of GERD, a bout of heartburn does not mean that a person has the disease. In fact, GERD is only diagnosed when the reflux of stomach acid causes pain that is severe enough to impact a persons life on a regular basis and that is injurious to the esophagus. To understand acid reflux disease, it helps to have a basic grasp of how the stomach works and how heartburn occurs. When you swallow, food passes down the throat through a long tube, the esophagus, to the stomach. A muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, opens to allow food into the stomach and then closes again. At this point, the stomach releases strong acids to help break down the food youve eaten. But in patients with GERD, the LES relaxes when it shouldnt or becomes weak, allowing stomach acid to reflux, or seep upward, almost constantly. While occasional bouts of heartburn are common and painful only in the short term, frequently occurring acid reflux can damage the esophagus in the long run. Esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus lining, is a condition that occurs in about 20 percent of GERD sufferers. It can lead to difficult, painful swallowing, and, on occasion, ulcers. Another more serious side effect of GERD is esophageal stricture, a narrowing of the esophagus, which is caused by the body repeatedly attempting to repair reflux damage. Esophageal stricture can cause difficulty swallowing, food regurgitation and severe weight loss. Another negative consequence of GERD is Barretts esophagus, a condition in which the body changes the structure of the cells lining the esophagus. This occurs due to the bodys repeat attempts to heal acid damage. The problem with these disorders of the esophagus is that many people just believe they have heartburn, and are unaware of the more serious consequences of GERD. Take Steven, a patient who came to my office complaining about his acid reflux. Steven had suffered painful bouts of heartburn almost every day for a year before he came to my officeand its a good thing he did! While he just wanted a quick fix for heartburn, an endoscopy showed that Steven had Barretts esophagus, a condition that can progress to esophageal cancer. This last and most serious result of GERD is rare, but esophageal cancer has very few symptoms and is quite difficult to treat. If you have recurrent episodes of heartburn that do not go away and dont respond to over-the-counter treatment, you may be suffering from GERD. Avoid these severe consequences by talking to your doctor about treatment options.More »
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Never take chest pains lightly. Chest discomfort should make you question seek answers for your chest pain, since heart attacks often mimic the symptoms of heartburn. Find out more in this video.
Transcript: You know your chest hurts, but you don't know the cause. Is it heartburn...or something more serious?...
You know your chest hurts, but you don't know the cause. Is it heartburn...or something more serious? Heartburn is an unpleasant, but generally harmless condition that troubles almost everyone from time to time. But sometimes, symptoms that feel like heartburn may be something more serious, like gastroesphogal reflux disease, or even a heart attack. The most common symptom of heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest, just behind the breastbone. It may then spread up into the neck area. A person suffering from heartburn may also experience burning in the throat, trouble swallowing, or a feeling of food "sticking" in the chest or throat. Occasionally, heartburn may cause chronic cough, a sore throat, or a hoarse voice, particularly at night. Gastroesphogal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when there is a near constant reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus, which produces symptoms like everyday heartburn. Because of this, it can be hard to tell what's REALLY going on in your body! GERD heartburn, however, occurs much more frequently, often every day. It also tends to last for longer periods than basic heartburn. Another symptom of GERD is regurgitation, or the appearance of liquid, food particles, or an acidic taste in the mouth. Regurgitation occurs when the upper esophageal sphincter, or UES, opens slightly, causing refluxed matter to enter the mouth. A final symptom of GERD is frequent and severe nausea that can lead to vomiting. Often, nausea appears in the absence of heartburn. Sometimes, chest pain is not heartburn or GERD, but a heart attack. Although heart attack symptoms vary widely in form and severity, certain signs can help to signal a medical emergency. Pain in a heart attack tends to start in the chest, but may often extend beyond it, to your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. Severe pain in the left arm is a commonly reported symptom. Shortness of breath, often accompanied by a cold, clammy sweat, are also signs of heart attack. Often, sufferers will feel like they need to sit down due to extreme lightheadedness or dizziness. Most people can tell the difference between common heartburn and something more serious, but there ARE cases where a heart attack has been written off as a bad case of heartburn. For this reason, if you experience serious heartburn in conjunction with other symptoms, take one regular strength aspirin and call 911 for assistance immediately. It's clear that self diagnosis of heartburn isn't always a good idea...often that pain in your chest can be a case of GERD, or worse, a heart attack. The bottom line is, it's important to make an appointment with your doctor if you experience heartburn more than several times a month, or if you have concerns about acid reflux.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-09 | Tags »
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It's not always a simple case of heartburn. For some it's gastroesophageal reflux disease. Luckily there are a lot of options when it comes to treating GERD.
Transcript: Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause near constant heartburn and pain for people who suffer from...
Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause near constant heartburn and pain for people who suffer from the condition. Luckily, theres hope for treating GERD! Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is the result of constant seeping of the stomachs digestive acids up into the esophagus. GERD most often manifests as chronic heartburn, but can also result in vomiting and nausea. If left untreated, GERD can lead to conditions like esophageal stricture, which is a painful narrowing of the esophagus, and even esophageal cancer. If you are diagnosed with GERD, your doctor will probably recommend lifestyle modifications and medications to help you cope with the heartburn that follows from the condition. Lifestyle modifications include avoiding foods that can lead to heartburn, such as peppermint, chocolate, tomato and citrus products, caffeine, and fatty foods. Your physician may also recommend other changes like losing weight, if youre obese and ceasing use of tobacco products, if you smoke. Because GERD is more serious than just basic heartburn, your doctor may prescribe a type of medication called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. Acid is released in the stomach via a device known as a proton pump. PPIs block the pump from releasing acid, which prevents acid leak and the consequent heartburn. Some common PPIs available via prescription include Nexium and Protonix. While PPIs can reduce acid secretion by more than 95 percent, a downside is their expensive price tag. A slightly weaker, yet more affordable, medication choice is histamine-2, or H2, blockers. These drugs are available both with a prescription and, in a weaker form, over-the-counter. H2 blockers work by countering the effect of histamine, which stimulates acid production. The result is a drop in the amount of acid that the stomach producesH2-blockers, like Axid and Zantac, are often most effective for people troubled by nighttime heartburn. Medication and lifestyle changes can control about 95 percent of GERD, but for some people, surgery will become necessary. The goal of GERD surgery is to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter that, when lose, allows acid to leak. The most common GERD surgery is fundoplication, or a stomach wrap. This procedure involves grabbing a piece of the stomach and looping it around the lower end of the esophagus to create a sphincter. The wrap must be tight enough to prevent reflux, but loose enough to allow food and belches to pass. Sometimes, a doctor will use radiofrequency catheter ablation to treat GERD. Also known as the Stretta procedure, it involves applying small doses of radiofrequency energy into the esophageal sphincter. This causes the lining of the esophagus to expand, in turn resulting in a tightening of the valve that releases acid. The LES can also be tightened with sutures using the Bard endoscopic suturing system. During this surgery, stitches are placed at either side of the LES and are then tied together. While gastroesophageal reflux disease can be painful, these treatment options can help you return to a normal, heartburn free life! But please: see your doctor before trying any GERD therapy.More »
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Nexium, or esomeprazole, is a prescription drug used for stomach ulcers. To learn about this drug, its side effects, and when it must be used, watch the video.
Transcript: Esomeprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Nexium. This medication...
Esomeprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Nexium. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. When the body begins to digest food, acid is released in the stomach via a device known as a proton pump. The right amount of acid is necessary to enable food to digest properly, but too much causes heartburn. Nexium blocks the pump from releasing excess acid, thereby preventing this painful consequence. Nexium is most commonly used in the treatment of severe acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It can also be used in conjunction with other medications to treat stomach ulcers. Nexium is available in 20 and 40 milligram capsules, as well as in a solution to be administered intravenously. This medication should be taken one hour before meals for the length of time specified by your doctor...usually four to eight weeks. The most commonly reported side effects of Nexium include diarrhea, nausea, and headaches, but please ask your doctor for a complete list. Also, tell your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience an abnormal heartbeat, or any other significant changes. Nexium should not be taken with benzodiazepines, like Valium, and may decrease the absorption of certain other prescription medications. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with Nexium. Nexium is one of the most frequently prescribed acid-reflux medications. However, this medication must always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking Nexium.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-17 | Tags »
nexium, Esomeprazole, drug, PPI, GERD, acid reflux, heart burn, esomeprazole risk, esomeprazole side effect, nexium side effects,proton pump inhibitor stomach, food digestion, abnormal heart beat, diarrhea, nausea, headaches conditions, digestive health
Lansoprazole or Prevacid is a drug used to treat severe acid reflux and stomach ulcers. Find out more about it, the side effects and how it works in this video.
Transcript: Lansoprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Prevacid. This...
Lansoprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Prevacid. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. When the body begins to digest food, acid is released in the stomach via a device known as a proton pump. The right amount of acid is necessary to enable food to digest properly, but too much causes heartburn. Prevacid blocks the pump from releasing excess acid, thereby preventing this painful consequence. Prevacid is used in the treatment of severe acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD and is also prescribed for stomach ulcers. Prevacid is available in 15 and 30 milligram capsules as well as dissolvable tablets. A powder that is mixed into water and taken orally is also available. This medication should generally be taken once a day. Swallow the capsule with water, or dissolve the tablet on your tongue. If you are taking the powder version of Prevacid, mix it with two tablespoons of water and drink immediately. The most commonly reported side effects of Prevacid include diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain, but please ask your doctor for a complete list. Also, tell your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience an abnormal heartbeat or any other significant changes. Prevacid should be used cautiously by people taking Lanoxin for congestive heart failure, and may decrease the absorption of other medications. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with Prevacid. Prevacid is frequently prescribed to treat stomach ulcers or GERD. However, this medication must always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking Prevacid.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-17 | Tags »
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