For people with sensitive digestive systems eating spicy tacos or greasy pepperoni pizza, can be a sure way to flare up a nasty case of heartburn. Millions of Americans experience heartburn symptoms at least once a week.
There are many causes that can activate heartburn, including medications, specific foods, obesity, and even stress. Being aware of what ignites your heartburn will help you create a plan to avoid the uncomfortable condition.
A sponsored article by Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is offering a lecture on why it’s important to find relief from heartburn to prevent the acid reflux from escalating.
Dr. Kamran Ayub, Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross, will present a free program on Burning Your Heartburn & Preventing Esophageal Cancer, on Monday, Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.
This program is aimed for people who suffer from chronic or severe heartburn. Dr. Ayub will discuss the latest endovascular treatments to eliminate chronic heartburn and prevent Barrett’s Esophagus, which can lead to cancer. To register to attend visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn typically is a painful, burning sensation in the chest after a heavy meal, or while bending over, lying on your back or lifting and occurs when the sphincter doesn't close completely.
Acid from the stomach comes back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. Other symptoms may include, chronic cough, chronic sore throat, persistent hiccups, sensation of having lump in the throat and trouble swallowing. Pregnant women often experience heartburn as the growing fetus increases intra-abdominal pressure.
Heartburn that won't go away needs medical attention because it may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pill or medication induced esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, cancer of the esophagus, ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems. Chest pain, for instance, can be a symptom of GERD, espphageal spasm, angina and heart attack. Pain from any of these can happen following a large meal.
“So, if you suffer severe or chronic heartburn or chest pain, it's vital you find out if your problem is digestive or cardiac,” says said Kamran Ayub, M.D., Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross.
For a person with Barrett’s esophagus, Dr. Ayub says the risk of developing esophageal cancer is similar to the risk of developing colon cancer for patients who have a colon polyp. “It usually starts with GERD, which can cause Barrett’ esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Ayub. “That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms of GERD, the most common being heartburn.”
Tips to avoid heartburn:
•Eating slowly can help prevent bloating. There are also over-the-counter medications you can take before or up to 30 minutes after a meal that will reduce intestinal gas.
• Reduce portions of sugar. When sugar or fruit juice mixes with starch in the stomach, they cause bloating.
•Limit alcohol consumption, which can inflame the lining of the stomach and intestines.
• Avoid caffeine, which can cause you to overeat.
About Kamran Ayub, M.D.
Kamran Ayub, M.D., is a board certified gastroenterology physician at Silver Cross Hospital. Dr. Ayub completed a gastroenterology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and is considered an expert in endoscopic ultrasound, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Barrett’s Esophagus.
He has published numerous papers and abstracts on this topic and has spoken extensively at national and international meetings. He has described new techniques of endoscopic ultrasound guided nerve blocks. His office is located with Southwest Gastroenterology, S.C. at 1890 Silver Cross Blvd Suite 455, New Lenox. To schedule an appointment, call (708) 499-5678, ext. 184.