It spoils a Thanksgiving gathering as reliably as spilled gravy: gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
About 1 in 4 adults in Orange County suffer from daily chronic reflux and take a PPI (an anti-acid medication) to help control their symptoms. Add stuffing, turkey, cranberries, creamed corn, dinner rolls, rice, pumpkin pie (you get the idea), and that chronic reflux can turn into something truly debilitating at the holidays.
“We all have what’s called physiological reflux occasionally and that’s normal but chronic reflux or GERD isn’t normal and can be present regardless of what, when and how much we eat” said Dr. Phoenix Nguyen, director of therapeutic endoscopy at Hoag.
“GERD is caused by a hiatal hernia and a defective valve. This happens when a small portion of the stomach has moved up above the diaphragm. Minimally invasive surgery like endoscopic fundoplication (creation of a new valve at the bottom of the esophagus) with robotic hiatal hernia repair can fix the problem. Both are offered at Hoag Digestive Heath Institute in Newport Beach.”
We all want to enjoy the foods we love and enjoy during this special time that only comes once a year. But let’s be mindful of what we eat, how much and how quickly.
If you are suffering from GERD, make an appointment with your primary care physician at www.hoaghealth.org. To avoid heartburn at the holidays, Dr. Nguyen offers a few tips: