Five Acid Reflux Myths - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Five Acid Reflux Myths

Posted: Updated:

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Millions of Americans suffer from GERD – a chronic digestive disease that happens when stomach acid flows back into your food pipe. A lot of people know the condition causes heartburn, but there's a lot more to it.

Chronic heartburn, known as GERD, affects more than 21 million Americans, but there are a lot of myths out there. The first: it's not serious. Doctor James Rosser says it can actually develop into a deadly disease.

"It can lead to the fastest growing cancer in America: esophageal cancer,"   General Surgeon, James C. Rosser, Jr., MD, at Florida Hospital Celebration told Ivanhoe.

Another myth: heartburn is the only sign. In fact a dry cough, sinus problems, and even asthma are also symptoms.

"Up to sixty percent of the patients in this country with asthma are theorized to be caused by acid reflux," Dr. Rosser explained.

You might believe medicine will take care of it, but Doctor Rosser says the truth is drugs alone cure less than half of patients. Some think diet doesn't make a difference when dealing with GERD, but they're wrong! Soy milk, manuka honey, chamomile tea, bananas, and oatmeal can reduce symptoms. But stay away from chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and canned foods.

"Canned foods are terrible, and you know why? Because in order to extend the shelf life, they have a lot of acid in the canned foods," Dr. Rosser said.

The last myth: GERD only affects adults. Kids, even babies can have reflux, but Doctor Rosser says no matter what your age there's help.

"You don't have to settle being miserable. That would be my take-away," Dr. Rosser explained.

Doctor Rosser said many people are also unaware of the side effects of common heartburn medications. Some can cause pneumonia, diarrhea, bone fractures and are even associated with a dangerous infection known as C-diff. He says, for some patients, surgery may be a safer and better option.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

BACKGROUND: One in ten Americans experiences heartburn symptoms at least once a week. Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in the chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD. Recent studies show that GERD in infants and children is more common than previously recognized and may produce recurrent vomiting, coughing, and other respiratory problems. (SOURCE: www.webmd.com

COMMON HEARTBURN TRIGGERS: The specific triggers for heartburn differ from person to person. A number of foods and drinks can cause heartburn; some common triggers are:

  • Alcohol, particularly red wine
  • Black pepper, garlic, raw onions, and other spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits and products, such as oranges and orange juice
  • Coffee and caffeinated drinks, including tea and soda
  • Peppermint
  • Tomatoes

(SOURCE: www.webmd.com)

HEARTBURN IS NOT A HEART CONDITION: Heartburn is caused by acidic fluid from the stomach washing up into the esophagus, or the swallowing tube. It is not caused by a heart condition. The discomfort of heartburn is often a burning sensation directly beneath the breastbone, causing some people to immediately think it's related to the heart, although it is not. The discomfort is often accompanied by burping, or symptoms of bloating or gas. Sometimes an acid taste occurs in the mouth. These symptoms are not indicative of or consistent with a heart condition. (SOURCE: www.prilosecotc.com)

HEARTBURN REMEDIES MYTHS AND TRUTHS: There is a lot of misleading information out there on how to properly treat heartburn, such as drinking cream or milk. Doctors do not recommend drinking milk to reduce heartburn, as it has been proven that milk temporarily reduces the symptoms only to later increase acid production by the stomach, which causes more heartburn. Doctors recommend making lifestyle changes to treat heartburn, such as:

  • Avoiding foods and beverages that can weaken the LES is recommended. These foods include chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, coffee, and alcoholic beverages.
  • Eating meals at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime may lessen reflux by allowing the acid in the stomach to decrease and the stomach to empty partially.
  • Elevating the head of the bed on 6-inch blocks or sleeping on a specially designed wedge reduces heartburn by allowing gravity to minimize reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. Do not use pillows to prop yourself up which only increases pressure on the stomach.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Cerinda Hamilton

Florida Hospital Celebration Health

407-303-4602

www.celebrationsurgeons.com

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
  • Helping High Risk Hearts

    Helping High Risk Hearts

    Monday, April 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-07 21:15:09 GMT
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
  • Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Friday, April 4 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-04 21:15:07 GMT
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
  • Predicting Bad Hearts

    Predicting Bad Hearts

    Thursday, April 3 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-03 21:15:09 GMT
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner.more>>
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. And 600,000 die of heart disease. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner; and they did it by pure accident.more>>
  • Giving Shannon A Voice Of Her Own

    Giving Shannon A Voice Of Her Own

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-02 21:15:05 GMT
    More than half a million children under age 15 has a severe communication disorder impairing their ability to speak or communicate with others. Now, advances in technology are giving them a voice—some for the first time.more>>
    More than half a million children under age 15 has a severe communication disorder impairing their ability to speak or communicate with others. Now, advances in technology are giving them a voice—some for the first time.more>>
  • Getting On Your Nerves To Save Your Heart

    Getting On Your Nerves To Save Your Heart

    Tuesday, April 1 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-01 21:15:06 GMT
    Heart failure is the fastest growing cardiovascular disorder in the U.S., affecting more than 6 million people. However, now a new device that gets on your nerves could help save those with heart failure.more>>
    Heart failure is the fastest growing cardiovascular disorder in the U.S., affecting more than 6 million people. It occurs when a person's heart is too weak to pump and circulate blood in the body. However, now a new device that gets on your nerves could help save those with heart failure.more>>
  • New Way To Hear For Grayson: Brain Stem Implant

    New Way To Hear For Grayson: Brain Stem Implant

    Monday, March 31 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-03-31 21:15:07 GMT
    Imagine being born profoundly deaf: missing the vital nerve needed for you to hear. Without it, you had no options; until now.more>>
    Imagine being born profoundly deaf: missing the vital nerve needed for you to hear. Without it, you had no options; until now.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.