Ulcers & Upper GI Problems, Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD, Gastritis in Ottawa ON
Your upper gastrointestinal tract can give you many varied symptoms. We will try to quickly cover some of the more common ones.
Several treatments can improve and alleviate many digestive issues in Ottawa ON
Acid Reflux, Heartburn & GERD in Ottawa ON
Acid reflux arises when the lower esophageal sphincter, the circular muscle that acts as a gate between the esophagus and stomach, loosens too easily or does not maintain its tone. That allows caustic gastric acid to backwash into the esophagus, causing difficulty swallowing, wheezing, shortness of breath, persistent dry cough, hoarseness, and the feeling that you have a lump in your throat.
Symptoms of reflux, such as heartburn, are among the most common digestive ills. In a Swedish study, 6 percent of people reported experiencing reflux symptoms daily and 14 percent had them at least weekly. Such frequent symptoms may indicate a person has GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Aside from being painful, GERD can harm the esophagus over time or even lead to esophageal cancer.
Heartburn feels like a hot or burning feeling rising up from the center of the abdomen area and into the chest under the breastbone or sternum. It may be accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth, or hyper-salivation, or even finding food or fluid in your mouth, particularly at night. Pregnancy, some medications, and consuming alcohol or certain foods can cause heartburn. Kids under age 12 and some adults may have GERD without heartburn, instead experiencing asthma-like symptoms, trouble swallowing, or a dry cough.
People often think they need to avoid spicy food. However, only a few have actually been proven to trigger GERD. These include: mint and anything containing mint oil, chocolate, deep-fried foods, coffee, and alcohol. Some of these foods, like chocolate and mint, chemically cause the lower esophageal sphincter to loosen, triggering acid reflux. Deep fried greasy food is the big culprit though, as they are hard to digest and slow digestion, which can lead heartburn. Spicy foods don't cause heartburn, but they can hurt a lot when you have an irritated esophagus already.
Ulcers: Peptic, Stomach, Gastric, Duodenal Ulcers
Many people believe that ulcers are caused by stress, but this is false. Stress can aggravate symptoms of peptic ulcers and delay healing, but it is not the cause.
Ulcers can occur in the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine (duodenum). The usual signs of a peptic ulcer are a sensation of gnawing, burning, or hunger in the stomach. Some patients also report a feeling of fullness.Many people who suffer from peptic ulcers experience nausea. Sometimes, however, the vomit can be bloody or like coffee grounds. Other symptoms include bloody or tarry stools, weight loss, and chest pain.
If you think you have a peptic ulcer or have been diagnosed with PUD (Peptic Ulcer Disease), get tested for Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori). By disrupting a protective layer of mucus, that bacterium causes ulcers, which are sores in the lining of the stomach or first stretch of the small intestine. Other causes of peptic ulcers include smoking, which can elevate stomach acidity, excessive Aspirin, Advil, Ibuprofen or other NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) use and alcohol consumption.
AVOID NSAIDS: If you have unexplained stomach pain, consider this before reaching for a painkiller: "The worst thing to do if ulcers are suspected is to take aspirin or other NSAID pain reducers," says Michael Gold, a gastroenterologist in Washington, D.C.. "They worsen it and don't help." NSAIDs are known to cause gastric bleeding as a side effect, and make ulcers worse or even lead to a trip to the emergency room with a .
Left untreated, ulcers can cause internal bleeding and may eat a hole in the small intestine or stomach wall, which can lead to serious infection. Ulcer scar tissue can also block the digestive tract. And long-term H. pylori infection has been linked to an increased risk of gastric cancer.
There are antibiotic treatments, as well as some natural alternatives for an H. Pylori infection including raw cabbage, cayenne pepper and raw honey.
Acid Reflux & Heartburn may be very common, but it's not a normal symptom to have. Being so common,you'd think it would be simple to spot and treat. But sometimes acid reflux symptoms are less than obvious or easy to mistake for something else. Acid reflux can give rise to inflammation in the esophagus, which can over time lead to throat cancer in some people. This inflammation is called esophagitis, and is confirmed usually by a biopsy.
Belching is the process of reflux of swallowed air from the stomach through the esophagus. Excessive belching can be an indication of stomach problems.
Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining and is not a single symptom, so its severity is not proportional to symptoms.
Some patients with vague abdominal symptoms of uncertain cause may be found to have gall stones, enlarged liver or duodenal ulcers, for example. The duodenum has one common pathology associated with severe symptoms. Duodenal ulcers are now far more uncommon, but can cause severe pains in the abdomen. Sometimes this vague symptom is called dyspepsia meaning gastric discomfort.
Acute pancreatitis can give rise to severe pain in the upper abdomen. Chronic and relapsing pancreatitis can give rise to a complex and unpleasant pattern of symptoms which may be difficult to distinguish from other disorders.
Indigestion is a loosely defined word which means very different things to different people. It is thus not a very satisfactory medical term without further clarification.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition which develops when the back-flow (reflux) of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications. Doctors also call this “acid reflux.”
The most frequent symptom of GERD – heartburn – is so common that it may not be seen as part of a disease. But repeated heartburn can be a sign of GERD.
Heartburn is not the only symptom of GERD. Troubles swallowing, sore throat, or hoarseness in the morning are just a few other signs. And GERD may be present even without heartburn.
Serious health problems can result if it is not treated properly. There are several reasons why people have GERD. One possible reason has to do with the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus. Normally, this muscle closes to keep food and stomach acid from coming back up the esophagus. In some people with GERD this muscle does not always work right.
GERD often causes heartburn, a burning feeling in the chest and throat. Heartburn may happen many times a week, especially after eating or at night.
GERD can also cause you to cough or have asthma symptoms. It can also make your voice sound hoarse and raspy. These symptoms can happen even if you do not have heartburn. The acid may also leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
There are many more symptoms and diseases of the upper GI tract, and many tests that can be done by your medical doctor to rule out. There are many causes of these issues as well. Some symptoms improve on their own, and some can worsen without increasing symptom severity for a long time.
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Many symptoms can be helped with preventative care like acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, physio and laser therapy. We strongly recommend anyone experiencing the symptoms discussed on this page, see one of our health professionals soon.
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