Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week

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By Nurse Diane

Yesterday when I was at my dad's house - he started talking about Thanksgiving dinner, and what all I wanted to see on the table.  As I started listing all the dishes that I like - my mind started to wander about this article.   It occurred to me that while I can eat nearly everything without any problems, except weigh gain, there are other members of my family who are not as fortunate.

This week is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week (GERD).The most prominent symptom is heartburn.  After eating such a big meal, such as a Thanksgiving feast, you may have this symptom.  Occasional bouts of heartburn are not necessarily caused by GERD.  When I would work in the hospital emergency room - every Sunday we would have several patients come in with fears of heart attacks.  The reason being after a big Sunday dinner, they would have indigestion.
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Some other symptoms of GERD include:
  • Chest Pain;
  • Sore Throat;
  • Hoarseness;
  • Feeling of food being stuck in the Chest area;
  • Frequent throat clearing;
  • Coughing; and
  • Regurgitation of food and liquids.

Treatment options include lifestyle modifications, medications, surgery, or a combination of methods. Over-the-counter preparations provide only temporary symptom relief. They do not prevent recurrence of symptoms or allow an injured esophagus to heal. They should not be taken regularly as a substitute for prescription medicines – they may be hiding a more serious condition. If needed regularly, for more than two weeks, consult a physician for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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This week is Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week For more information about GERD, visit this sitehttp://www.aboutgerd.org/site/about-gerd/gerd-awareness-week, or call the GERD hotline at toll-free (U.S.) at 1-888-964-2001 to receive information and support regarding GERD.

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