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A New Breakthrough for GERD Sufferers

People who suffer from chronic acid reflux deal with a lot of discomfort. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can make every meal feel like a battle. Many people attempt to handle this disease through medication or diet, but it is extremely difficult to control. Surgery is the best lasting option for treatment of GERD.

The Problem With Minimally Invasive Surgery

Surgery is often a considered a last resort for many people. Not only does surgery come with complications, it often means missing work for a significant period of time, a slow recovery with possible complications, and can cause side effects. The current surgery used to treat GERD is called a Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. Although the procedure is minimally invasive and has high success rates with relatively short recovery time, the procedure still often causes side effects. The most common is known as “gas bloat syndrome.” With this side effect, the gas that would normally be pushed out through the mouth (a burp) is trapped inside the stomach and intestines by the tying procedure. This can make the person extremely uncomfortable. Other less common side effects can include difficulty swallowing and dumping syndrome, where food passes into the intestines without being fully digested and making it difficult for the body to pass the items.

A New Technique On The Cutting Edge of Medicine – Without the Cutting

A new procedure is being pioneered by Dr. Glenn Ihde. The new procedure, known as a Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, is an incisionless reflux surgery. While the previous fundoplication surgery required an incision to get to the lower end of the esophagus where the upper part of the stomach was stitched around it, the new procedure allows Dr. Ihde to go through the patients mouth using an EsophyX instrument to perform the necessary procedure. This incisionless surgery eliminates the internal and external cutting and scarring. The surgery does not take as long, and the recovery time is remarkably short.

Explore Your Options

If you are one of the many people that suffer from GERD, talk to your doctor today to find out what your options are and what the best choice for you may be. There are options out there for relief. If you have struggled to control your disease or if you are nervous about the side effects that may occur with a traditional surgery, consider a Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication. It may be the best choice to get to a healthier you.

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Avoid Acid Reflux With These Healthy Foods

preventing acid reflux disease, acid reflux in Dallas, DallasReflux.com

Ingesting Aloe Vera can reduce common acid reflux issues.

For all you Dallas acid reflux sufferers out there, if you decide to implement the following 10 healthy foods into your daily diet, you can avoid many of the common ailments associated with this disease.

While there are some foods that can be triggers for heartburn, the following ones can be used to prevent it – sort of the yin to their yang. That bad sensation and the horrible taste that you sometimes get in your mouth after eating certain foods can be thing of the past if you follow this article closely.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is known to bring many benefits for different things. Its liquid form or the leaves can work well to treat acid reflux and it can be found in health food stores or groceries. You can use it in your meals for foods that require a thickener for liquids.

2. Bananas and Melon

Bananas can be great, but they must have a pH of 5.6 to treat the condition. Even if most people have experienced positive results, experts say that one percent of them have opposite effects. Just like bananas, melon is good for most people (, but for one to two percent works differently). The pH of Melon must be 6.1. Cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon are also included.

3. Turkey or Chicken

Boiled, grilled, baked or sauteed turkey or chiken can be awesome choices, but the skin must be removed due to its high content in fat.

4. Fish and Seafood

These two ingredients can also be baked, sauteed and grilled. Fried ones are not good. Shellfish such as lobster and shrimp may be awesome meals for this purpose. The best fish can be the wild type and the one that is farm-based should be avoided if possible.

5. Roots and Greens

Almost any green and root vegetable is recommended. Good examples can be asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans.

6. Salad

Salad is one of the most important foods for people who have acid reflux. But, the following things should not be included: fat dressings, onions, cheese and tomatoes. Dressings that contain some fat or acids could be used, but only up to one tablespoon.

7. Rice and Couscous

Couscous, also called semolina wheat and rice (the brown one would be preferred) can be complex carbohydrates to use for a healthy anti-acid reflux meal.

8. Celery and Parsley

Parsley has been used since a lot of time for healing purposes in diseases of the stomach. Parsley can added for seasoning or garnish. Celery contains a lot of water and does not contain calories at all. Celery is also a suppressant of appetite and a wonderful source of roughage.

9. Oatmeal

Many nutritionists recommend oatmeal for healthy breakfasts or snacks and a good filling. You can combine oatmeal with raisins without worries, as it can absorb the acid from the raisins very efficiently.

10. Ginger 

Ginger can be one of the best ingredients against heartburn. Since ancient times, it was utilized for stomach and intestine related conditions. The ingredient is also an anti-inflammatory. Cooked, or in a smoothie, the root can be delicious, but it must be peeled and sliced.

If you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and suffer from acid reflux, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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In North Texas and Need Acid Reflux Surgery?

Suffering from heartburn or indigestion and don’t really understand what’s going on?

DallasReflux.com, acid reflux surgery in North TexasThe most efficient way of treating reflux symptoms is by stopping the acid secretion completely in your stomach. People normally experience constant irritation including pain in the inner walls of the esophagus and in the abdomen, this is the major symptom of acid reflux. The pain can sometime be unbearable and most people will resort to surgery as their only option.

However, there are some cases where prescribed medicine should be just enough to alleviate the pain. If not, the doctor will most likely recommend acid reflux surgery to which there are many benefits that the patient can obtain from this.

The main reason as to why the surgery is recommended is when the initial treatments for the acid reflux have failed to work. This means that as a patient you will continue to experience the same symptoms even after using drugs. You may also consider surgery if you don’t want to rely on medication for the rest of your life. Ineffective medication obviously means that you need a more permanent solution.

Acid reflux surgery involves the repairing of valves in the stomach so that the acid is blocked completely from entering the esophagus. Once your current condition has been considered and the doctor thinks you are qualified for the surgery, then the decision to go forward or not can be made.

The benefits of acid reflux surgery are vast. The major benefit is that you will experience less discomfort as most of the patients that undergo the surgery never experience heartburn again. It is also known that more than half of the patients who undergo this surgery get cured from respiratory problems such as asthma that is a result of the acid reflux.

Additionally, you should know that bile reflux is a condition that can lead to cancer, and in this case the surgery is the ideal option to avoid all cancerous possibilities.

There are two main methods that are used when performing reflux surgery. These are the fundoplication and the intraluminal endoscopic acid reflex surgery. The first method is done by tightening the esophagus walls so that the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter is increased. This will make it harder for the acid in the stomach to come upwards. The other method uses the same procedures, but the difference is that an endoscope is used this time. The two options are effective and safe with a typically short recovery period.

If heartburn, GERD or other symptoms of acid reflux are hindering your life, check into Ihde Surgical Group and our acid reflux surgery procedures today.

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The Difference between Heartburn and GERD

heartburnandgerdphotoPretty much everyone has dealt with heartburn at one time or another. That burning in your chest or throat that won’t seem to go away without medicine is uncomfortable and frustrating. Many times, you can pin point something that you ate that triggers the heartburn, but sometimes, it seems to come from nowhere, or perhaps from simply overeating. There is a difference between the occasional heartburn and GERD, however.

GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It occurs when there is damage or weakening of the muscle that works like a door to seal off the stomach contents from the esophagus. This muscle is known as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. If it does not work properly, the stomach contents rise up into the esophagus on a regular basis, creating that dreaded heartburn feeling daily, pretty much with no regard to what types of foods are consumed.

While most every person with GERD will experience severe heartburn, there are other symptoms than can be present with the disease as well. These could include issues with the throat like laryngitis, hoarseness of speech, sore throat, a lump in the throat sort of feeling, or a persistent dry cough. GERD sufferers may also suffer from bad breath, an increase in saliva, nausea, and earaches. Those with the disease who also suffer from asthma will likely have more problems with their asthma than ever before. GERD not only worsens the symptoms of asthma, but medication for asthma tends to worsen the symptoms of GERD as well.

If you feel like you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, take the time to see a specialist and have it checked out. You don’t have to live with the problem forever. Sometimes, the right medication is all you need, or if the problem is severe, there is a surgery available that can eliminate the issue for good.

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What is GERD Reflux Disease?

gerdAlmost everyone has had heartburn from time to time. It’s fairly uncomfortable, but usually goes away on its own after a while or faster with the help of over the counter acid reducing medication. The burning sensation in your chest can just about drive you crazy while it’s there though. Many people have even been known to rush to the emergency room, fearing they are having a heart attack, while suffering from the sometimes sharp pains of heartburn.

Now, imagine having that burning feeling every single day, maybe even all day, every day. That, my friends, could be GERD reflux disease, not just heartburn. GERD stands for Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease, and it occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, is damaged or weak. The LES is basically the gate that closes the door to the stomach. If it doesn’t relax properly, stomach acid can travel past it and into the esophagus on a regular basis.

Symptoms for GERD vary, and not everyone will experience the disease the same way, but almost all will have trouble with heartburn. Other symptoms could include a persistent dry cough (usually at night), sore throat, hoarseness, laryngitis, feeling like there is a lump in the throat, earaches, bad breath, sudden increases in saliva, and nausea. Also, GERD can irritate the airways and cause asthma symptoms to worsen. Unfortunately, medication used to treat asthma can actually cause GERD to worsen as well. Children can also suffer with the disease and usually experience symptoms like coughing, reoccurring nausea and vomiting, and breathing problems.
Luckily, there are treatments available for GERD. Sometimes a lifestyle change is enough to dramatically reduce the symptoms, but in most cases, medication and a lifestyle change combine to give the best results. Those with severe weakening of the LES may need a fairly simple surgery to correct the problem. The important thing is that you don’t have to just live with it. See a reflux doctor in your area to get started with a treatment plan.

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If You Suffer From Reflux

If you suffer from reflux, despite taking medications, there is good news in the news!  Procedures for reflux have become refined over the years, and there is now reason to believe that a simple procedure can rid you of reflux disease.

Now, most of you are familiar with the symptoms of reflux, mainly the heartburn that you feel after a meal or drink.  In simple cases an over the counter antacid will immediately improve your symptoms.  But, as reflux gets worse, there are other signs and symptoms that you may not realize is reflux disease.  For instance, having food or fluid come up when you lean over to pick something up or when you lie down to rest.  Many people have throat and sinus symptoms such as hoarseness, sore throat, what feels like a lump or pressure in the throat and persistent mucus and sinus drainage.  A persistent cough or clearing of the throat may be reflux, and it’s estimated that up to 80% of adults with asthma have reflux induced asthma.

If antacids are not treating the problem adequately, or if your symptoms recur day after day, people look for stronger medicine.  The next line of treatment is what is called an H2 antagonist – like ranitidine, which is now an over the counter medicine.  This medicine reduces the acid production by about 60%.  The most powerful medications we have are called proton pump inhibitors.  You’ve seen TV ads about taking these pills.  They reduce acid production in the stomach by about 90%!  Very strong medicine indeed!

So if you have reduced the acid in the stomach so much, why do people still have symptoms?  Well, the first reason is that these medicines are designed to treat esophagitis, an irritation or erosion of the lining of the esophagus.  Normally, a valve between the esophagus and the stomach keeps acid and enzymes of digestion out.  Overeating, and foods that slow the stomach emptying can cause a full stomach to spill contents through the valve and injure the lining of the esophagus.  By reducing the acid content you allow these injuries to heal, because most of the time the esophagus is fairly well protected from the acid and enzymes in the stomach.  Typically 90% of cases are healed within 6 to 8 weeks.

diagram1

 

So again, why do you still have to take medications?  Well, sometimes the valve deteriorates, allowing acid and enzymes to splash into the esophagus all the time.

In that case, even reducing acid by 90% still causes symptoms.  The fluid still has digestive enzymes, which injure the end of the esophagus, but can also move all the way up the esophagus to injure the throat, sinuses, and even the lung passageways.  Medicines can treat the acid, but they can’t fix a broken valve!  Up till now, surgery to repair the valve would be the next step.

So, in the past, surgery would use some of the stomach to recreate the valve, but over time we realized that patients were having good control of their reflux, but a lot of side effects to the surgery.  Bloating, gassiness, having difficulty swallowing….it’s like they traded one problem for another.  So the traditional surgery, called a “NIssen Fundoplication”, works well, but is reserved for only the worst cases of reflux.  This leaves a lot of patients with reflux symptoms despite being on the maximum medical treatment available.  What do they do?

Well, that’s the good news.  Since 2007, a new technique to recreate the natural valve has been gaining popularity in the United States.  It’s called “Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication” or TIF for short.  Like the Nissen, TIF controls reflux very well.  On average, 80% of patients control their symptoms without the use of daily medications.  Meaning they take no medication, but eat and drink like they did before they had reflux.  Also, in over 30 published studies, the incidence of the Nissen-type side effects has been practically zero!  Some patients even reduce the bloating and gassiness they had before surgery!
diagram2

How does it work?  Well, a device is placed through the mouth and into the stomach.  It grabs the junction of the esophagus and stomach and folds the stomach back into place.  Then it places sutures to hold it in place until it heals.  When it heals, it becomes a permanent change.

 

How good does it work?  Recently, a head to head trial of medicine vs surgery showed that medicine controlled heartburn symptoms only 13% of the time, while TIF controlled heartburn 90% of the time.  Regurgitation was controlled by medicines 50% of the time, and TIF controlled regurgitation 97% of the time.  Atypical symptoms were eliminated 84 to 100% of the time with TIF.  Importantly, 100% of patients were daily acid medication before this study.  After TIF, only 8% were still on daily medication.  An amazing difference if you are tired of taking medications.

Finally, there is one more thing to consider.  Medicines are generally safe, but they have their own list of side effects.  We know that acid suppression in the stomach decreases the ability to absorb many important nutrients, especially iron, magnesium and calcium.  Calcium deficiency from chronic medicine use has been shown to increase fractures in

diagram3

 

women.  Also, the acid helps defend against many bacteria, so the incidence of pneumonias and colon infection and diarrhea is higher with acid suppression.  There are studies

that indicate that acid medications increase the rate of heart attacks in susceptible patients, and interfere with the absorption of certain other medications
So if you are tired of reflux symptoms, or have symptoms of reflux and didn’t know it, get evaluated by an expert in TIF.  If you have been on medications for years, and are tired of taking them, now is a good time to look at this important new advance in reflux therapy.that patients may be on.

 

By

Glenn M. Ihde MD

At www.DallasReflux.com

 

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Common acid reflux drug could cause heart disease

By ANI | ANI – Sun 14 Jul, 2013

Washington, July 14 (ANI): A new study suggests that drugs that help millions of people cope with acid reflux may also cause cardiovascular disease.
It is the first time researchers have shown how proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, might cause cardiovascular problems.

In human tissue and mouse models, the researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital found PPIs caused the constriction of blood vessels.
If taken regularly, PPIs could lead to a variety of cardiovascular problems over time, including hypertension and a weakened heart.
In the paper, the scientists call for a broad, large-scale study to determine whether PPIs are dangerous.

“The surprising effect that PPIs may impair vascular health needs further investigation,” John Cooke, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s principal investigator, said.
“Our work is consistent with previous reports that PPIs may increase the risk of a second heart attack in people that have been hospitalized with an acute coronary syndrome.
“Patients taking PPIs may wish to speak to their doctors about switching to another drug to protect their stomachs, if they are at risk for a heart attack,” he said.
The study is published in the journal Circulation. (ANI)

Source: http://in.news.yahoo.com/common-acid-reflux-drug-could-cause-heart-disease-055924084.html

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Pregnant with Heartburn

Avoiding acid reflux and heartburn in Dallas during pregnancy

Heartburn bothers millions of people every year, but for many women the burning and indigestion doesn’t strike until pregnancy. For women who have already struggled with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pregnancy is often marked by increased discomfort from the already problematic symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.

Unfortunately, pregnancy is a time when treatments like reflux surgery aren’t always an option. Still, even during pregnancy your GERD surgeon can help you develop strategies to reduce the experience of heartburn and improve your health.

 

 

Why So Much Heartburn during Pregnancy?

There are a few reasons why so many women experience severe heartburn while pregnant. The first is often the most obvious: excess weight.

A growing child means a growing uterus, which crowds out the stomach and adds pressure to the organ. During this time the waistline generally is growing too, adding further weight and pressure to the internal organs, namely the stomach, esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Unfortunately, this pressure and constant exposure to stomach acid during pregnancy can lead some women to develop permanent damage to the esophagus and LES, which means that even after the baby is born, the frequent heartburn might not go away.

Other reasons associated with the development of heartburn during pregnancy include dietary changes and hormone fluctuations. Pregnancy hormones are recognized to relax the LES, which permits digestive juices to travel freely into the esophagus. Most women start experiencing heartburn during their second trimester of pregnancy.

Treating Heartburn during Pregnancy

Treatment options for heartburn are limited during pregnancy, but your GERD surgeon can still help you develop strong strategies to reduce heartburn.

Here are a few lifestyle changes that can help treat your heartburn during pregnancy:

  • Resist eating spicy and overly fatty foods
  • Chew food thoroughly and eat slowly
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Eat at least two hours prior to lying down for bed
  • Sleep with your head elevated
  • Try walking briefly after a large meal

After following months of lifestyle changes and physician-approved home remedies, many women are able to safely undergo reflux surgery once their child is born to correct any permanent damage to the esophagus or LES that may have developed during the pregnancy.

Your GERD surgeon will provide you with some helpful strategies to reduce heartburn as much as possible. Here are a few suggestions you may discuss with your doctor:

  • Eating habits: Controlling your diet is difficult while pregnant, but eating right is essential for the health of you and your child. Do your best to refrain from cravings and have healthy, heartburn-friendly foods at hand to snack on.
  • Over the counter medications: Do not take any over the counter medications without the supervision of your GERD surgeon and obstetrician while you are pregnant. Certain over-the-counter medications could be harmful to your child’s development. Your physician will give you detailed instructions on what medications can potentially ease your heartburn.

For more advice about coping with GERD while pregnant contact your heartburn specialist.

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Try Tai Chi, Stay Reflux-Free

Try Tai Chi Before or After Reflux Surgery in DallasStress may be a fact of life, but it can be a pain for those who suffer from acid reflux. By making your esophagus more sensitive to acid backwash, stress can cause heartburn symptoms to worsen, sparking a cycle of acid reflux and anxiety that makes every day more difficult.

Though reflux surgery can provide a permanent solution to acid reflux, reducing stress before your procedure can be an asset in keeping symptoms under control. Even after reflux surgery, stress management techniques can help you quell anxieties and face each day with greater calm.

Progressive muscle relaxation is one useful activity, but fleshing out your stress management system with a variety of relaxing strategies will be even more beneficial. Tai chi is an ancient practice that can help you reduce stress with meditative movements and a focus on your breathing.

Meditation in Motion

Tai chi originated in ancient China and has since developed worldwide popularity largely due to its accessible nature. Tai chi is unlikely to spark acid reflux and is known as an activity that nearly anyone can do—it is often recommended for the elderly, patients recovering from surgery and even those confined to wheelchairs.

The movements of tai chi are slow and deliberate, flowing together without ever fully extending the joints or tensing the muscles. Focus is placed on breathing deeply, giving the practice a meditative and calming effect that can be powerful in reducing stress. As an added bonus, these gentle movements can help you build strength, balance and flexibility.

Getting Started with Tai Chi

Because tai chi is so low-impact, it is generally a safe choice both before and after reflux surgery. Still, it will be wise to speak with Dr. Ihde before trying tai chi to ensure that it is a healthy activity for you.

Once your GERD surgeon gives you the go-ahead, your first step should be taking a class. Though tai chi is highly accessible to beginners, its language and concepts can be intimidating to the uninitiated. A good instructor can help you get the basics down and answer any questions you have about the activity. You should also give tai chi a chance to prove its value—you may not notice any dramatic benefits until you’ve practiced the activity for several weeks, so give yourself some time to master it.

Has tai chi helped you control stress before or after reflux surgery? Tell us about your experiences with tai chi in the comments below!

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