Study links abdominal fat (visceral) to increased risk of Barrett’s esophagus

February 14, 2014

A recent study shows that carrying more weight in the midsection may increase one’s risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer.

Health.Harvard.edu

Barrett’s esophagus is “a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is damaged by stomach acid and changed to a lining similar to that of the stomach.”*  Barrett’s esophagus has been shown to be a precursor to esophageal cancer.  

This study linked a higher amount of visceral fat to a greater risk of Barrett’s esophagus.

The fat located in the abdominal region is either defined as visceral or subcutaneous. Visceral fat surrounds the organs in the abdominal region, while subcutaneous fat is located between the skin and the abdominal wall. 

Researchers reported that the elevated risk of Barrett’s esophagus related to the increase of visceral abdominal fat was found in both those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and also those who do not experience GERD symptoms.

For a more information on the study, please refer to the following two articles:

“Visceral abdominal obesity measured by CT scan is associated with an increased risk of Barrett’s oesophagus: a case-control study.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

“Visceral adipose tissue increased risk for Barrett’s esophagus.” Healio Gastroenterology

*“Barrett’s esophagus.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine 


Is your heartburn affecting your sleep?

February 11, 2014

Suffering from heartburn, whether be it during the day or at night, is an annoyance that many Americans cope with, some on a daily basis. An alarming 60 million Americans experience it at least once a month and 25 million Americans suffer from heartburn every day. When heartburn is this frequent or severe, people may be diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly known as GERD.

The United States National Library of Medicine defines GERD as “a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach).” This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, becomes damaged or weakened.

If not properly treated, long-term sufferers of GERD can develop serious medical conditions, which include chronic cough or hoarseness, esophagitis, bleeding, scarring or ulcers of the esophagus and Barrett’s esophagus, an abnormal change in the lining of the esophagus that can potentially raise the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

It is important to note that many patients who are diagnosed with GERD do not experience heartburn at all. Below are the most frequently reported symptoms of GERD:

• Heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux)
• Bad breath
• Burning or pain in the chest or throat
• Chronic cough
• Hoarseness or chronic sore throat
• Bitter taste in mouth
• Inflammation in the mouth and erosion of teeth
• Problems swallowing
• Asthma-like symptoms
• Excessive belching

GERD is amongst the most prevalent upper gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and most likely one of the most common disease diagnosed by Gastroenterologists across our nation.

For many, GERD does not just disrupt their daily routine, but their sleep as well. GERD sufferers who have trouble sleeping at night could also go on to experience other health problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, sleepiness during the day and restless leg syndrome.

It is best to first speak to a gastroenterologist or a primary health care provider to see what options are available to treat GERD effectively. Below are some helpful tips in order to reduce GERD symptoms and enjoy a better night’s sleep.

• Eat smaller meals
• Chew food slowly and thoroughly
• Say upright after meals
• Avoid foods which trigger your GERD symptoms (fats, spicy foods, alcohol)
• Keep a food journal to track your “trigger foods”
• Try sleeping with your head elevated. Either with extra pillows or a wedge pillow
• Restrict your eating in the evening
• Do not eat or drink anything two hours before bedtime (with the exception of water for medications.)

Again, please consult your doctor if you are having problems sleeping at night or are experiencing frequent or severe heartburn.  These suggestions are intended for informational purposes only.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Sources:
National Sleep Foundation
WebMD
American College of Gastroenterology 
 
 
 

November is GERD Awareness Month!

November 5, 2013

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is among a handful of risk factors associated with the development of esophageal cancer.   Many experience heartburn, with too many experiencing heartburn on a regular basis.  If not treated properly, heartburn can be very damaging, leading to a number of diseases, including esophageal cancer.

November is ‘GERD Awareness Month’!  Our friends at The Miriam Hospital published an article regarding GERD and “What you need to know!”

Brett Kalmowitz, MD, gastroenterologist at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital says: “Heartburn or acid indigestion is the most common symptom of GERD.” Kalmowitz further explains that “heartburn is a burning chest pain that begins behind the breastbone and moves upward to the neck and throat. It can last as long as two hours and is often worse after meals. Lying down or bending over after a meal can also contribute to heartburn.”

Raising awareness for GERD is such an important step in the fight against esophageal cancer.   Remember to share this post with your friends, family and social media sites, too!  Use the links at the bottom to post, tweet, email and pin directly from this page.

To read The Miriam Hospital’s full article, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), click here.

esophageal cancer, esophageal cancer ri, esophagus cancer, cancer of the esophagus, cancer ri, ri cancer, ri esophageal cancer, cancer treatment, cancer ri treatment, esophageal cancer treatment, esophageal cancer treatment ri, rhode island cancer, cancer rhode island, nonprofit, non profit ri, ri nonprofit, ri non-profit, esophageal non profit, esophagus, barret esophagus, barret esophagus ri, esophagus ri, ri esophagus, esophageal cancer rhode island, gerd, GERD ri, ri gerd, GERD treatment, GERD, GERD help, heartburn, heartburn ri, heartburn treatment, treatment heartburn, acid reflux, acid reflux ri, acid reflux treatment, acid reflux help, ri acid reflux, esophageal cancer, esophageal cancer ri, ri cancer, cancer ri, cancer rhode island, esophageal cancer rhode island, rhode island esophageal cancer, heartburn, acid reflux, gerd, reflux, gerd reflux, acid, pain in chest, doctor ri, gi doctor ri, gastroenterologist ri, ri gastroenterologist, ri health, health ri, esophageal cancer awareness, esophageal cancer treatment, esophageal cancer diagnosis, esophageal cancer research, esophageal cancer donate, esophageal cancer funding, esophageal cancer fund, esophageal cancer funds, esophageal cancer , esophageal cancer awareness, esophageal cancer nonprofit, esophageal cancer events, esophageal cancer rhode island, esophageal cancer new england, esophageal cancer Massachusetts, esophageal cancer screening, esophageal cancer detection, esophageal cancer signs, esophageal cancer symptoms, esophageal cancer diagnosis, esophageal cancer doctors, esophageal cancer doctors in ri, esophageal cancer doctor ri, esophageal cancer symptom, esophageal cancer heartburn, heartburn can cause cancer, cancer heartburn, heartburn cancer, esophageal cancer salgi, esophageal cancer rates, esophageal cancer death, esophageal cancer death rate, esophageal cancer survivors, esophageal cancer survivor, esophageal cancer survivorship, esophageal cancer surviving, esophageal cancer groups, esophageal cancer organizations, esophageal cancer teams, esophageal cancer board, esophageal cancer charity, esophageal cancer nonprofit, esophageal cancer money for research, Networking RI, cancer ri, esophageal cancer, cancer in ri, networking event ri, cancer charity, cancer research, cancer charity ri, cancer research ri, esophageal cancer awareness, esophageal cancer awareness ri, esophageal cancer research ri, esophageal cancer research, esophageal cancer prevention, esophageal cancer prevention ri, esophageal cancer cure, esophageal cancer, in hopes of a cure, networking cancer, cocktails in hopes of a cure, cocktails, Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run, Cancer Walk, Cancer Walk RI, Walk RI, Run RI, Rhode Island Walk, Rhode Island Cancer, Cancer Walks in RI, Cancer Run in RI, Run for charity, Run in RI, cancer run, cancer walk, cancer walk ri, cancer run ri, esophageal cancer, cancer of the esophagus, cancer, esophageal cancer ri, cancer of esophagus, ri cancer, cancer awareness, cancer research, cancer prevention, ri cancer research, ri cancer prevention, ri cancer treatment, ri cancer charity, charity ri, charity, cancer, treat esophageal cancer, treat cancer, treatment of esophageal cancer, treatment of esophageal cancer ri, acid reflux, heartburn can cause cancer, heartburn ri, acid reflux ri, heartburn, heartburn remedy, heartburn remedies, acid reflux remedies, charity run ri, charity walk ri, run for cancer

photo courtesy of: chop.edu


“It’s not OK to just take a pill” to treat acid reflux’ – RefluxMD

July 8, 2013

Thank you to RefluxMD for sharing this video of a man who much like our family’s patriarch, suffered from heartburn for years and then developed esophageal cancer.

From RefluxMD:

“We often come across news stories that highlight the struggles that people living with acid reflux face. We think they are important to share because they help put a face to the GERD epidemic and drive home the message that acid reflux can lead to serious complications. This is one such story. Read on to learn how one acid reflux sufferer is using his experience with esophageal cancer to encourage others to take control of their health.”

Acid reflux leads to esophageal cancer

This moving story was originally presented by Tampa ABC news anchor Wendy Ryan. We decided to share it because it is such an emotional and touching story about a heartburn sufferer. George Mickle, like millions of American adults, was instructed by his doctor to take medication daily to manage his heartburn symptoms.  Thinking they were a cure for his problems, he learned years later that they only masked his symptoms, while his acid reflux disease progressed to esophageal cancer. You can watch the full story here:

esophageal cancer, esophageal cancer ri, esophagus cancer, cancer of the esophagus, cancer ri, ri cancer, ri esophageal cancer, cancer treatment, cancer ri treatment, esophageal cancer treatment, esophageal cancer treatment ri, rhode island cancer, cancer rhode island, nonprofit, non profit ri, ri nonprofit, ri non-profit, esophageal non profit, esophagus, barret esophagus, barret esophagus ri, esophagus ri, ri esophagus, esophageal cancer rhode island, gerd, GERD ri, ri gerd, GERD treatment, GERD, GERD help, heartburn, heartburn ri, heartburn treatment, treatment heartburn, acid reflux, acid reflux ri, acid reflux treatment, acid reflux help, ri acid reflux, heartburn can cause cancer, salgi, salgi esophagal cancer research foundation, esophageal cancer salgi, esophageal cancer ri, esophageal cancer salgi foundation, salgi foundation, heartburn, acid reflux