3 posts tagged “gastroesophageal reflux disease”

More than heartburn: GERD awareness around Thanksgiving

Posted November 23rd, 2015 by

To a lot of folks, this time in November means a holiday feast with all the trimmings – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies and other rich foods. But for people living with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it might mean something different.

Today marks the beginning of the 17th Annual GERD Awareness Week (November 23-29). GERD is a common disease spotlighted each year during the week of Thanksgiving.  The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) first designated GERD Awareness Week in 1999 to raise awareness for increased research and understanding of the condition.[1] Chronic heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, but there are several less common symptoms associated with GERD that might arise during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Digestive Health Alliance (DHA) has outlined several ways you can get involved and spread awareness during GERD Awareness Week, and the DHA – as well as IFFGD – have several available resources if you’re looking for more information about the condition.

During GERD Awareness Week and all year long, you can connect with more than 4,000 others in the PatientsLikeMe GERD community. Read others’ personal stories about GERD in the Digestive and Intestinal forum and connect with others by sharing your own story.

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Up Your Awareness of GERD Before Chowing Down This Thanksgiving

Posted November 19th, 2012 by

GERD Causes the Backflow or "Reflux" of Stomach Contents, Causing Uncomfortable Symptoms

GERD Awareness Week, now in its 14th year, takes place November 18-24, 2012.  Yes, the week of Thanksgiving.

Given that many Americans celebrate this holiday with big meals (followed by seconds and thirds!), it’s the perfect time to spread the word about gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause chronic heartburn and acid regurgitation as well as less commonly known symptoms such as laryngitis, a sudden excess of saliva and the sensation of food sticking in the esophagus.

How can you tell if you have GERD versus occasional heartburn?  Typically, when you have GERD or another more serious condition, heartburn will occur more than once a week and often become more severe at night, to the point where it can disrupt sleep.  If frequent bouts of heartburn are keeping you up at night, talk to your doctor.  You can also call the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) Helpline at 1-888-964-2001 (toll-free from the US) for information at any time.

Fortunately, treatments are available to combat GERD, which affects up to 1 in 5 adults in the US.  According to the 2,254 patients who are part of the GERD Community at PatientsLikeMe, some of the commonly prescribed medications include Omeprazole (Prilosec), Lansoprazole (Prevacid), Esomeprazole (Nexium) and Ranitidine (Zantac).  Click on each drug name to see the treatment evaluations our patients have submitted regarding effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.

A Snapshot of the GERD Community at PatientsLikeMe

Then, there’s also watching what you eat.  While GERD is not caused by diet, it can be aggravated by certain foods and eating habits.  To make this Thanksgiving a little more pleasant, consider avoiding the following foods and beverages:  chocolate, onions, fried foods, acidic foods, fatty foods, peppermint, caffeine, carbonated beverages and alcohol.  Eating late at night can also contribute to nighttime heartburn that leaves you restless and sleep deprived.

So, if you see family members who may be experiencing GERD, make sure they know the facts…before they dig into those midnight leftovers!