Posts made in August, 2015

Your Frequent Heartburn May Be A More Serious Problem

If you’re going through so many antacid tablets each week that they are a regular item on your grocery list, it’s time to uncover the real problem. You may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If left untreated, this condition can lead to cancer of the esophagus. Here is what you need know about GERD and how to find the right help.

More Than Just a Reaction to Spicy Food

Heartburn is one of the symptoms of GERD, but it’s much more than that.

A small muscle at the end of your esophagus opens to allow food to enter your stomach. It then closes to prevent the stomach contents from coming back up into the esophagus. If the muscular valve fails to close, stomach acid can leak into the esophagus and all the way up into your throat. This acid irritates the tissue lining, causing that burning feeling. In severe cases, the valve doesn’t close at all, so every meal can result in this leaking of stomach acid.

Long Term Effects of GERD

As the condition continues, the stomach acid eats away at the lining of the esophagus. This causes the development of ulcers and bleeding. Swallowing may become difficult. Antacids may give some relief but eventually will be ineffective. You’ll have difficulty being comfortable either sitting or standing. The damaged tissue in the esophagus can produce cancer cells if the irritation continues.

Getting Help for GERD

You can go to a family physician, but they will refer you to a specialist for a complete examination. Physician owned specialty hospitals and clinics offer gastroenterologists who are experienced working with all stages of GERD. These facilities have the latest in endoscopic technology to look into your esophagus and evaluate the extent of the damage.

These doctors will do X-rays and blood tests to check for the presence of ulcers. They will examine the muscular valve through an endoscope inserted into the esophagus. Once they understand the severity of the esophageal damage, they will recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Changes in diet to reduce the GERD symptoms – Avoiding acidic foods, coffee, tea and alcohol will prevent the production of excess stomach acid.
  • Lifestyle changes – Eating smaller portions, drinking plenty of water with meals and eating several hours before you go to bed will decrease the symptoms.
  • Prescription antacids – Some of these you’ll take before meals to reduce the amount of stomach acid produced.
  • Surgery to repair the valve – If the muscular valve is damaged, surgery can be done to repair or replace it.

Understanding the seriousness of GERD is the first step. Finding the right help in a gastroenterology clinic is the next. Don’t allow this condition to become serious enough to require surgery. Contact a specialty hospital such as Nueterra for more information.

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3 Surprising Health Benefits Of Coffee

Did you know that over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year? In some circles, coffee has a reputation for being bad for regular drinkers. It is true that a seven dollar blended and whipped-cream topped beverage might not be doing you a lot of favors, but black or minimally sweetened coffee actually packs a punch with a variety of great health benefits. In addition to increased energy, listed below are three surprising health benefits of coffee that you can start experiencing today! 

1. Feel Great, Lose Weight

It seems that everyone wants to lose weight and feel better. Well, coffee can help you do both those things. According to a Harvard study, drinking 4 or more cups of coffee regularly decreases a woman’s chance of becoming depressed by twenty percent, and decreases anyone’s chance of committing suicide by 53 percent. Additionally, the caffeine in your coffee can help increase your metabolic rate by 3-11 percent and aid in fat burning and weight loss. Think about it: your coffee habit can help you lose weight and look great!

2. Prevent Type 2 Diabetes and Other Serious Diseases

Coffee has also been shown to aid in preventing type 2 diabetes, which affects 29 million people in the United States, by 28-35 percent, depending on the number of cups consumed daily. If caffeine doesn’t agree with you, don’t worry; recent studies suggest that decaffeinated coffee has the same benefit without the jitters. Coffee contains a bevy of antioxidants and minerals that help your body use insulin and prevent tissue damage. In addition to type 2 diabetes, the nutrients in coffee can decrease the risk for Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and liver disease. You can lower your risk for these serious, life-changing diseases simply by drinking coffee. Who knew?

3. Get Smarter

Coffee consumption can positively affect the brain as well as the body. The caffeine in coffee causes your brain to work more efficiently and improves all kinds of brain functions, including reaction time, attention, and logical reasoning. So if you’ve got a big study session or test coming up, keep on sipping! 

Drinking coffee in excess, or adding too many sweeteners to it, can be bad for your health, but coffee itself is really quite good for your mental and physical health. If you’re struggling to lose weight, feeling depressed, or trying to reduce your risk for disease, try increasing your coffee intake to start seeing some great health benefits. It’s never too early to start a new, healthy habit.

For more information about coffee, contact Loft 950 or a similar location.

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