Holiday Heartburn or Something Else?
ARC Recognizes GERD Awareness Week
November 24, 2014
With the holidays just around the corner, overindulgent eating and a side of heartburn are likely on the menu. But, have you ever wondered if your heartburn is just heartburn or something more serious? Frequent heartburn is often mistaken for Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a common disorder affecting millions of Americans.
ARC challenges you to more closely examine your heartburn symptoms during GERD Awareness Week, November 23-29.
The following signs may be an indication of GERD:
- heartburn nearly every day for 2 weeks
- returning heartburn once an antacid wears off
- disrupted sleep due to heartburn
GERD is caused by stomach acids backing up into the esophagus resulting in uncomfortable chest pain or burning. These stomach acids can damage the lining of the esophagus causing bleeding, ulcers, and even the creation of scar tissue making swallowing difficult.
An unhealthy diet and genetics, may be contributing factors. However, with proper nutrition and lifestyle changes, these issues can be resolved. Limiting foods high in fat, alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, extremely spicy foods, or highly acidic fruits and juices is a good start. Also try decreasing portion size and eating several hours before bedtime.
“If improving your diet does not help, you may be a good candidate for the TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) procedure which rebuilds the valve between the esophagus and stomach eliminating your painful acid reflux,” says Dr. Thomas Bening, General Surgeon at ARC Cedar Park Medical Plaza.
Contact your ARC physician if you think you may suffer from GERD, and help to make this holiday season heartburn-free!