8 posts tagged “thanksgiving”

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!


What Patients Are Thankful For

Posted November 23rd, 2011 by

Thanksgiving is a time for remembering all the reasons you have to be grateful.  For patients who face numerous health challenges, this can mean reminding yourself of all the things you have gained – not lost – since your diagnosis.

A Snapshot of PatientsLikeMe Members

One theme that we’re especially proud to hear our 120,000+ members express is how thankful they are to have found a community of people who truly “get” them at PatientsLikeMe.  Our founders envisioned a way to connect patients with others just like them – so they could learn from each other, support each other and help accelerate the pace of medical research – and today, it’s become a reality.  Touchingly, it’s also been the start of many important friendships among our members.

Here are some patient stories that moved us this year:

  • “The people on this site deserve more than a simple thank you from me.  The night I found PatientsLikeMe was about eight hours after my neurologists had told me, ‘You have non tremor Parkinson’s disease.’ That night I had some stinking thinking going on.  I considered myself a freak.  Thanks to this site I now consider myself unique.  We are all unique. To my Parkinson’s brothers and sisters, a big THANK YOU for helping me get away from my stinking thinking.”  – Patient with Parkinson’s disease
  • “This is the place where we can wonder what is next, cry about what is now and rant about how unfair it all is to us.  Here we are among friends and patients just like us who know have been there or will be going there. It is so much better for me to be on PatientsLikeMe then to just rant to my family and boyfriend.  I figure we can all listen to someone’s rant as tomorrow it may be us.” – Patient with ALS
  • “I called one of our members for the first time.  We were on the phone for over three hours!  Every connection I’ve made here that has progressed to the phone call stage has been like that.  This is the best, most fun, most supportive group of guys and gals that I think I have ever come across.  At PatientsLikeMe, we may all come from different walks of life, different locations and yes sometimes different opinions, but here we share such a unique and caring bond.  I’m so lucky to have found PatientsLikeMe.” – Patient with fibromyalgia
  • “I have found that I am better able to deal with my moods now that I am able to relate to others with the same/similar problems. It helps to rant. It helps to talk with people who understand. PatientsLikeMe has helped me to understand myself better too. YAY. I love PatientsLikeMe.” – Patient with bipolar II disorder
  • “In large part, my success at escaping that life of depravity, depression and addiction is due to the sense of belonging I found at PatientsLikeMe. I was encouraged, and loved and, yes, even put in my place a few times. Even though my path has been neither straight nor smooth I feel that I have my friends on PatientsLikeMe to thank for the sunlight in my life.” – Patient with HIV

No one should have to go through the experience of chronic illness alone.  If you’ve already realized you’re not alone in your journey, we give thanks for you…and every patient like you.

Happy Thanksgiving!