I wanted to share an interesting article on celiac disease that was presented recently in the Well Blog section of the NY Times. I felt it raised a few very important points regarding celiac sprue, namely: 1. The disease tends to run in families and first..Read More...
Gerd | Acid Reflux
GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a common digestive condition in which acid from the stomach causes mechanical damage to the lining of the food pipe or esophagus. If the damage is not addressed, it can go on to cause ulcers and scar tissue in the area, eventually impacting swallowing function. Further damage can lead to a precancerous condition known as Barretts Esophagus as well as Esophageal Cancer.
Symptoms of GERD include classic as well as atypical ones. Classic symptoms include a burning sensation in the chest, trouble swallowing, or abdominal pain in the upper part of the abdomen. Often this occurs after meals but not always.
Atypical symptoms that can suggest GERD include cough, atypical chest pain, and hoarse voice. Due to the fact that GERD is a chronic condition, often symptoms may be absent altogether.
Bloodwork may reveal low hemoglobin or anemia if GERD is severe enough to lead to ulcers. Otherwise, labs are routinely normal.
Endoscopy or EGD is the gold standard for diagnosis of GERD/Acid reflux. During this exam, a patient is sedated and the specialist evaluates the lining of the food pipe, stomach and intestine. Findings can be subtle and require careful inspection of the lining of the esophagus. Irritation, redness, ulceration, scar tissue, or breaks may be present. Biopsies are taken of the area and submitted for pathologic analysis. Often, a hiatal hernia is seen at the time of endoscopy which can be the cause of GERD. pH studies using a pH probe called Bravo pH can also be used to diagnose the condition.
Treatment is extremely effective using a combination of lifestyle modification, diet, and medications. Symptoms resolve within 2 weeks of starting treatment. Our GI specialists are focused on treating GERD to help our patients live longer as well as improve their quality of life.
Barretts Esophagus is a change in the lining of the esophagus or food pipe thought to be caused from chronic acid refluxing into the esophagus from the stomach (GERD or acid reflux). The change in cellular structure is also known as Intestinal Metaplasia of the..Read More...
Recently, I ran into Bernice Hettesheimer at Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Endoscopy section. For those of you who don’t know her, Bernice is a retired endoscopy nurse who now runs the Jersey Shore Celiac Support Group. She writes about the Top 10 Reasons to..Read More...