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Have you heard of GERD – that stands for Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease? Many folks occasionally have heartburn or indigestion, but GERD occurs on a more regular, even daily, basis. In GERD, the stomach acid comes back up the esophagus – ouch!
GERD Study Stats:
GERD Study Results: For 6 months these folks worked on weight loss through diet and regular exercise. The average weight loss was 37 lb. per person. And with this weight loss, only 16% of the group still had GERD symptoms (down from 38%).
GERD Study Results: After the 6 months, some folks began to gain weight, and with the weight gain, things bounced back up with GERD symptoms. At this point, 22% had GERD, up from 16%. Those who were able to keep off their weight kept the GERD symptoms away.
These study results follow the results from earlier GERD studies – keep the weight off, keep the GERD symptoms away. Now you might be thinking, well, what’s a little heartburn? LOTS of trouble, including narrowing of the esophagus and pre-cancerous changes in the lining of the esophagus. So, weight loss appears to be a benefit to GERD.
Gallstones. It is estimated that ~25 million Americans have them, although many will not have symptoms for years. The gallbladder stores and releases bile into the intestinal tract- and bile helps you digest fat. Gallstones can form if the bile becomes too concentrated in cholesterol – it gets super-saturated.
Risk Factors for developing gallstones:
Symptoms of gallstones:
What might offer protection from developing gallstones? Having food sources of omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, fish, olive and canola oils), eating LOTS of fruits and vegetables, and selecting whole-grains rather than refined carbs and sugars.
Friday, August 24
The safe bet for prevention of gallstones is to have a healthy weight, choose healthy foods, and regular physical activity. Nothing unusual or heroic is needed to keep the gallbladder safe and sound.
IBS. Do you know what that stands for? Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And about 20% of folks in the U.S. experience this uncomfortable condition. Most have a number of symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract from the spasms and cramping that can occur in the colon.
The Risk Factors for IBS:
Common IBS Triggers:
My goodness, Thanksgiving is this week and I think that starts the unofficial season of overeating. It is the perfect time for November 21-27 to be Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Awareness Week, because overeating really makes acid reflux much worse.
The sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus doesn’t close properly, and acidic digestive juices go in the wrong direction UP the esophagus.
Symptoms of GERD:
Risk Factors for GERD:
Caution Foods that can make symptoms worse:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is lots more than just feeling uncomfortable. The acid is corrosive to the delicate tissue in the esophagus, and after years of untreated reflux, cancer cells may start growing
Tips to help GERD:
This lightened-up sweet potato-orange- apple casserole has no added fat – just cloves and fruit juice. Bake in oven for 30 minutes until bubbly.
October is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects about 1 person out of every 133. Researchers at the U. of Maryland School of Medicine have found it is on the rise in the elderly. Since 1972 Celiac Disease in the U.S has doubled every 15 years.
In Celiac Disease, the body cannot digest the protein gluten. Classic symptoms of Celiac Disease include
Gluten is found in wheat, wheat bran & wheat germ; barley and rye. This includes farina, most pasta & couscous, many cereals (Raisin Bran, Wheaties, Total, Grapenuts & Shredded Wheat).
Plan meals and snacks around gluten-free foods:
Thicken soups, stews, etc. with tapioca, cornstarch & potato starch rather than flour.
Keeping a gluten-free kitchen means reading ingredient labels thoroughly.
Have on hand healthy snacks for all family members:
A large study, looking at the medical records of over 690,000 children between the ages of 2 and 19, found yet another health consequence of obesity. Carrying this extra weight in the mid-section increased risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD or acid reflux.
GERD causes stomach acid to go back UP the esophagus. This can irritate and inflame the delicate lining of the esophagus. There can be a burning feeling in the chest.
Untreated GERD is not good! With the stomach acid constantly irritating the esophagus, over time the cells react and change. They may become cancerous. This condition is called Barrett’s esophagus.
Pediatric researchers are concerned about GERD starting in young obese children because this means they potentially have a longer time that their esophagus is exposed to the destructive stomach acid and bile. Will we see esophageal cancer at younger ages – we don’t know.
The bottom line: we need to help our young people get to and maintain a lean weight with a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
GERD Treatment Tips:
These baked stuffed potatoes are low in fat, high in protein with the addition of Greek yogurt to the potato filling. Top with grated veggies for added fiber. Make extras to keep in the refrig for an easy-to-warm-up snack.
April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. It is estimated that between 25-45 million people have IBS. Two out of three are female. In my 35 years of nutrition counseling, I do not believe I have ever had a man come in with IBS. Women are “good” about internalizing their stress, and it can show up as intestinal distress.
Tips to reduce the symptoms and discomfort of IBS: Read the rest of this entry…
Millions of Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. With this intestinal problem, people will experience gas, bloating and often diarrhea after eating certain foods. It is very uncomfortable. It is sometimes so problematic that people stop travelling because they never know if their gastrointestinal tract (GI) tract will “act up” and cause problems. Read the rest of this entry…