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April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Jayde Kurland speaks about how GERD can lead to Esophageal Cancer and how it is imperative to get screened early.
Heartburn is a condition associated with a burning sensation in the chest or throat. Certain foods can trigger heartburn but it can also be caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which is also known as acid reflux. At the Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima, OH, several heartburn treatments are available and our experienced team of gastroenterologists can develop a treatment plan specifically for you.
Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, occurs when fluids from the stomach flow back up into the esophagus or even the mouth. This can happen when the valve between the esophagus and stomach has not closed properly. Acid reflux often causes heartburn and other symptoms, such as a bitter taste in the mouth, belching, regurgitation, a sore throat, or a dry cough.
Heartburn tends to be one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. It is associated with a painful burning sensation in the throat or chest that often gets worse when lying down. Heartburn can be caused by other factors besides acid reflux. For example, eating spicy foods can temporarily induce heartburn. Women who are pregnant are more likely to experience heartburn even if they never had a problem with it before pregnancy. Other factors and conditions that can increase the occurrence of heartburn include smoking and being obese.
Treatments for Heartburn
Heartburn that is caused by eating certain foods is usually temporary and can often be treated with over-the-counter antacid medications. Additionally, food-related heartburn can be prevented by avoiding the foods that tend to trigger it. Spicy foods, tomato sauce, citrus foods and drinks, chocolate, peppermint, coffee, and fatty foods can all increase the risk of developing heartburn. Excessive alcohol consumption can also induce heartburn.
Heartburn that is due to chronic or severe acid reflux is best treated by a gastroenterologist. While over-the-counter antacids can be extremely effective in calming heartburn brought on by certain foods, such medications are not always able to prevent heartburn caused by chronic or severe acid reflux.
The gastroenterologists at our locations in Lima, OH, can treat heartburn by treating its primary cause, recurring acid reflux. Examples of treatment options include prescription-strength antacids or a proton pump inhibitor medication, such as Omeprazole. Proton pump inhibitor medications help by blocking the final stage of acid production in the stomach so acid reflux does not occur.
Heartburn can be extremely uncomfortable, but there are treatments that can help. You can schedule a telehealth appointment to discuss treatment options for heartburn by calling The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima, OH, at (419) 227-8209.
Are you struggling with hemorrhoids? Although hemorrhoids can often get better on their own, a visit to your Lima, OH, physicians might be a good idea if your hemorrhoids are causing discomfort.
What are hemorrhoids?
Lumpy hemorrhoids are actually swollen blood vessels in your rectum or inside or outside your anus. They're often more noticeable when you strain during a bowel movement. You may be more likely to develop hemorrhoids if you have chronic diarrhea or constipation, strain during bowel movements, use laxatives often, or are pregnant.
Will my hemorrhoids go away?
Fortunately, hemorrhoids often get better on their own. In fact, smaller ones can go away in just a few days. If your hemorrhoids are caused by constipation or straining during bowel movements, changing your diet to include high-fiber foods that make it easier to pass stools may be helpful. Over-the-counter hemorrhoids preparations can increase your comfort by reducing pain and itching
When should I see a doctor?
If your hemorrhoids are large or don't improve after three or four days, your doctor can offer several helpful treatments, including:
- Sclerotherapy: During your visit to the Lima, OH office, your doctor will inject a chemical into your hemorrhoids, which will shrink them. You may need to return for follow-up treatments to completely remove the hemorrhoids.
- Rubber Band Ligation: Rubber band ligation cuts off the blood supply to hemorrhoids, causing them to fall off in just a few days. Your doctor places a small rubber band around hemorrhoids during this procedure.
- Stapling: Stapling seals off blood flow to internal hemorrhoids.
- Coagulation: Coagulation offers another effective way to treat hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are exposed to heat, light, or cold temperatures, which hardens and shrinks them.
- Surgery: Although most hemorrhoids respond well to less invasive treatments, surgical removal may be needed if other treatments don't work or your hemorrhoid is large. The outpatient procedure is usually performed using local anesthetic.
Have over-the-counter treatments failed to help your hemorrhoids? Call The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima, OH, at (419) 227-8209 to schedule an appointment.