For some people, heartburn symptoms may only occur with seasonal over-indulgences, for others, the pain and discomfort associated with heartburn is much more frequent.
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Rebecca Fox: It is the unwanted left over from our holiday meals, heartburn. For many of us set may only occur with seasonal over indulgences but according to the American College of Gastroenterology more than 60 million Americans experience the symptoms of heartburn at least once a month. To help us enjoy your food once again, Gastroenterologist Specialist Dr, Sidney Smith join us to give us some tips on how to keep those uncomfortable symptoms at day. And Dr. Smith I wanted to begin with the main causes of heartburn, what are they and are they the same for everyone? Dr. Sidney Smith: The main causes of heartburn vary to some degree but I think we learned that over time some of the main causes are relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, the muscle that protect that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Additionally, hidal hernias which are herniation of the stomach up into the chest also disrupt that barrier and make it much easier for you to have acid reflux. Other problems that can contribute is included anything that increases into abdominal pressure. Obviously makes it easier for acid to come back up into the esophagus. I would take those are probably the main, main causes that we know of. Rebecca Fox: What seems treatment has really progress from those over the kind of medicine that we were talking about? Dr. Sidney Smith: Absolutely, if you look back from a historical prospective treatment of reflux as well as peptic ulcer disease is evolve going back to the introduction of H2 Blockers which were the initial class of medicines such as Pepcid, Zantac those type of medications onto more potent acid inhibitors such as Nexium, Prolosac, Protonex all of which are advertise heavily. So, from the medical stand for treatment is certainly evolve and is very effective. In addition for subside the patients, who don’t respond to medical therapy, don’t respond to treatment with medications. Surgery is also an option to correct the anatomical problems that may cause reflux. Rebecca Fox: So, when should I see my doctor about heartburn? Dr. Sidney Smith: You know obviously as caught of there is heartburn is a very common issue and heartburn occasionally is again certainly not uncommon. For someone who is having persistent heartburn, several days a week that goes on for weeks at the time we would recommend being evaluated. Obviously anyone who’s having difficulty of swallowing, pain with swallowing is having problems with any type of gastrointestinal bleeding those are all people that should speak to there doctor and proper be refer to gastroenteritis. Rebecca Fox: Is there anything I can to prevent, especially when I join my holiday meals. Dr. Sidney Smith: Absolutely, absolutely in that somewhat you have to tell that to the specific individual. Some people know that certain food for example spicy foods give them trouble. Other people know that carbonated beverages, chocolate give them trouble. So, if there are particular foods you know that going to give you trouble obviously avoid that. I think eating in moderation certainly is a wide step out not only for reflux but for your overall health. Avoiding lying down for several hours after eating allows gravity to help out and to keep acid down in the stomach as oppose the refluxing backup into the esophagus. Rebecca Fox: Alright, for some great tips. Thank you very much for being here. Dr. Sidney Smith: Thank you. Rebecca Fox: And you could watch more videos featuring Dr. Smith on icyou.com. For ICU on topic I’m Rebecca Fox.