If you’ve been putting off having a colonoscopy because you dread it, you’ll be glad to learn that it’s a lot less daunting than you think. Read on to learn more.
It’s not surprising that the week of Thanksgiving was chosen as GERD awareness week, especially with our tendency to indulge in a little too much pumpkin pie, stuffing, and yams! GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a common disease that affects millions of Americans. Everyone has heartburn on occasion, but there are some clear differences between heartburn and GERD.
GERD is the most common digestive disorder for which patients seek medical care. Approximately 10% of Americans suffer from daily symptoms or take medications to manage these symptoms on a daily basis. In most patients who do not tolerate medical therapy or in patients who have inadequate or incomplete relief of GERD symptoms from appropriate medical therapy, antireflux surgery – performed by experienced surgeons and in appropriately selected patients – is a safe and effective option.
If you are taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor about switching to another drug that does not have the same effect on the upper digestive tract. However, never stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor.
If after trying the above tips, you are still experiencing GERD, see your doctor.
Surgical therapy is also an option for the treatment of GERD. The main indication for surgical therapy is failure of medical management when symptoms persist despite appropriate medical therapy. Another indication for antireflux surgery is personal preference. Some people do not want to take lifelong acid suppression medication or have too many side-effects from these medications and may want to consider antireflux surgery. If you or someone you love is suffering from GERD, you may be a candidate for antireflux surgery. Talk to your primary care physician and know your options.
You Might Also Enjoy...
As you get older, you are at an elevated risk for a common gastrointestinal disorder called diverticulitis. Learn all about it and find out how it’s treated.
Don’t let gallstones wreck your holiday festivities. Learn which foods are best left off the menu as you celebrate the season.
While breast cancer may not be preventable, early detection can be the difference between life and death. Learn more about the risk factors of breast cancer and best practices for identifying and treating it.
A change in a mole, blemish, or growth on your skin could mean skin cancer, including malignant melanoma. Learn how to use the ABCDE method to determine if you should see a doctor.
Though a hernia is quite common, it never resolves on its own and always requires surgery. Learn more about how to determine if you have a hernia and discover your surgical options.