Obama, complaining of sore throat, diagnosed with acid reflux

December 7, 2014

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama, who had medical tests on Saturday after complaining of a sore throat, is suffering from acid reflux, the president’s physician said.

“The president’s symptoms are consistent with soft tissue inflammation related to acid reflux and will be treated accordingly,” Obama’s doctor, Captain Ronny Jackson, said in a statement.

Acid reflux is a condition in which the stomach contents flow back up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing such symptoms as heartburn and sore throat.

Obama, 53, went to Walter Reed military hospital for a fiber optic exam of his throat and since swelling was detected, doctors decided to perform a CT scan as well, Jackson said.

“The CT scan was conducted this afternoon purely as a matter of convenience for the President’s schedule. The CT scan was normal,” Jackson added.

Jackson said he recommended Obama go to Walter Reed for the tests after the president complained of suffering from a sore throat over the past couple of weeks.

Jackson did not give any cause for Obama’s case of the illness. There are many risk factors for acid reflux, including smoking, use of alcohol and hiatal hernia, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Most people respond to lifestyle changes and medicines, although many patients need to continue on medication to control their symptoms.

Click here to read the full article "Obama, complaining of sore throat, diagnosed with acid reflux" on Reuters.com.

Acid reflux disease, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, is one of the primary risk factors associated with esophageal cancer, the fastest growing cancer in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.

It is imperative that people who suffer from heartburn more than twice weekly speak to their doctor.   There are no routine or standard screening tests for esophageal cancer.  Unfortunately, symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing or food getting stuck, typically appear once the cancer has advanced and becomes difficult to treat.

Chronic and severe acid reflux can significantly damage the esophagus.  Not only can it increase the risk of esophageal cancer, but it can lead to other serious health problems, such as ulcers, bleeding and scarring.

Lifestyle changes can help to reduce GERD symptoms.  Click here for some tips to control your acid reflux.

Some medications help to temporarily alleviate GERD symptoms.  However, these medications are typically not intended to be taken for an extended periods of time.  Remember to read the label on these medications and consider the side effects.

Some patients may be candidates for nonsurgical, less invasive options to treat GERD.

As advocates for esophageal health and the prevention of esophageal cancer, we urge everyone suffering from chronic heartburn to consult a medical professional.  Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and options.

 


Support Esophageal Cancer Awareness This #GivingTuesday

December 2, 2014

giving tuesday periwinkle esophageal cancer the salgi esophageal cancer research foundation

Today is Giving Tuesday! The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is honored to participate in this third annual event.  In 2012, a group of nonprofit professionals decided to create an annual day of giving.  They positioned it around the biggest days of consuming, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday opens the giving season and with your help, we will raise funds to spread awareness, encourage early detection and support research of esophageal cancer…in hopes of a cure.™  

How can you help make Giving Tuesday a success?

  • Help us get the word out on social media by visiting and liking our pages: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram;
  • Consider a donation: SALGI.org/donate, as a 501(c)(3) charity, all donations are tax-deductible;
  • Share photos of your loved ones who have been affected by esophageal cancer on social media. Tag us in the photos and we’ll re-post them on our pages;
  • Invite your co-workers, family members and friends to contribute by using the message below via social media or email:

 

I am supporting The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation today on Giving Tuesday and I hope you will, too!  [Optional: Insert personal story/reason for helping.]  Did you know esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the US, according to the National Cancer Institute? You can support awareness and research efforts by making a tax-deductible donating online: SALGI.org/donate, and by sharing this information with your friends, family and colleagues by email or on Facebook and/or Twitter.  Thank you in advance!

 

Giving Tuesday helps to unite us in the spirit of giving and to bring a spotlight to esophageal cancer, a cause that needs desperate attention.  Let’s make this Giving Tuesday a great success! Thank you in advance for helping to make a difference today and every day.


Obesity rate in children drops almost in half, report shows.

March 7, 2014

The Journal of American Medical Association recently reported that there has been a substantial decline in the obesity rate among children in the United States.  Obesity in children ages 2-5 dropped almost in half, 43% to be exact, in the past decade.

While there are no direct causes, researchers believe that the major decrease can be attributed to a number of different reasons.  From better choices at fast food restaurants to parents taking a more active role in what their children are consuming, the obesity rate in this group of children from 2-5 is at 8.4%.  That is quite a difference from the previous obesity rate of 13.9% in 2003-2004.

obese,children,obesity,overweight,health,healthy,weightloss,babies,kids,obese

Photo via sxc.hu

This is especially beneficial in regards to a lowered risk of esophageal cancer.  A study conducted in 2013 linked overweight and obese adolescents to “a more than two-fold increased risk of developing esophageal cancer later in life,”  Study author Dr. Zohar Levi of the Rabin Medical Center in Israel suggested that this risk could possibly be attributed to reoccurring “reflux that they have throughout their life.”

The New York Times reported the following:

“This is the first time we’ve seen any indication of any significant decrease in any group,” said Cynthia L. Ogden, a researcher for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the lead author of the report, which will be published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, on Wednesday. “It was exciting.”

However, a third of US children and teens are still considered obese or overweight.  Odgen told the New York Times “Still, the lower obesity rates in the very young bode well for the future.”

For more information, please visit the following sources:

CNN.com 
BBC.com 
NYTimes.com 
AP.org
Health.com

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 
 
 
 

Abdominal Fat Linked to Esophageal Cancer; Tips to Trim Your Waistline

November 22, 2013

New research shows that central adiposity (an accumulation of fat in the abdomen area) is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. This research was published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Being overweight, particularly in the mid-section, elevates not only the risk of developing esophageal cancer, as this new research states, but a number of other diseases, proven in other studies. Below are some tips to help reduce “belly fat” and improve overall health and wellness.

Eat one less cookie a day

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD, suggests in his book, YOU on a Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management to reduce your caloric intake by just 100 calories per day. That means, eat one less cookie, candy bar, can/bottle of soda or piece of holiday pie. This seemingly small change can have a huge impact. Dr. Oz suggests that it may help you to lose about 12 pounds per year*.

Get moving

Refer to Sir Isaac Newton’s Frist Law of Motion: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.” Basically, the more you exercise the more you will burn and the more you rest, the more you will gain. Whether you are a triathlete or a couch potato, workout at your speed.

Count sheep

Studies have shown that when we are tired and are not sleeping properly, it negatively affects our appetite, which causes us not only to gain weight but make improper food choices. Keep your sleeping area calming, avoid technology right before bed and make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

Build muscle

Strengthening your core (abdominal) and lower back muscles will help you shed belly fat fast. Remember to always practice safe lifting while exercising. It may also be helpful to consider working with a personal trainer for even just a few lessons to make sure you are working out right and to avoid injury. Ladies, muscle burns fat. Pay no attention to the myth that if lifting weights will cause your body to transform into a bodybuilder’s.

Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacks!

According to research, eating healthy meals and snacks regularly throughout the day will not only benefit your health but keep you more focused and energized. When we do not eat regularly, we make poor food choices and our body can go into “starvation-mode”, which can cause it to hold on to more fat. Dr. Oz recommends his patients avoid eating processed foods because they can cause you to still be hungry soon after you’re done brushing the crumbs away.

Ditch the elevator

For many, the majority of our day is spent sedentary. Whether we are at a desk in front of a computer at work, watching TV, playing video or online games, eating meals or driving in the car, we sit, sit and sit some more. The best way to burn extra calories every day is to move around more. It sounds simple, but you can burn a significant amount of calories by taking extra trips to the water cooler during the day at work, parking your car further away from the door, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and even walking a bit further with your dog. Here are some tips to “workout” when you are at work!

Keep healthy snacks on hand

Pack healthy snacks and take them with you when you are on-the-go. Choose foods like almonds, celery, carrots, greek yogurt, berries and whole grain crackers. Keeping healthy options on-hand can help you avoid the dreaded vending machine and quiet your grumbling stomach. Again, sometimes when we are hungry, we end up making poor food choices.

Stress less

Easier said than done, right? Reduce your daily stress by meditating, practicing yoga, taking a walk, reading a book or sipping tea. Stress affects many aspects of our mental, emotional and physical health. Check out our Pinterest board “Namaste” for some great Yoga tips.

Don’t give up

Author Louis Sachar once stated ‘It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.’  Keep going, don’t give up and remember to be proud of all your achievements, no matter how big or how small. Positive thinking will keep you going through the good times and the bad.

As always, consult your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise or lifestyle. The aforementioned is for informational purposes only and should not be misconstrued for medical advice.