BY BARRY WARNER
People will sit down with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day to enjoy turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberries and pie. However, this special meal is synonymous with overeating, which is a root cause for acid reflux and heartburn.
The 12th annual Gastro Intestinal Reflux Disease (GERD) Awareness Week takes place this year from November 23rd to November 29th. It is sponsored by the Intestinal Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) to focus attention on GERD diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Richard M. Moccia of the Digestive Disease Associates of Rockland said, “Acid reflux occurs when a muscle called the esophageal sphincter located at the bottom of the esophagus tube, does not close properly and the contents of the stomach rise up into the esophagus. Symptoms include chronic heartburn, a sour burning sensation at the back of the throat and trouble swallowing. Many people try to treat themselves by turning to over-the-counter medications and antacids, but it is important for doctors to perform an endoscopy procedure to confirm a diagnosis. During an upper endoscopy, the endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus to view the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small intestine. The procedure provides information regarding digestive tract inflammation, ulcers, tumors and Barrett’s Esophagus, which may indicate an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.”
Take comfort in knowing that diet and lifestyle changes may be all that one has to do to avoid acid reflux. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages, citrus fruits, chocolate, fatty foods, onion and garlic. Put blocks under the head of the bed to raise it at least four to six inches and stop eating at least two to three hours before lying down.