FROM OUR EXPERTS
Could marijuana smoking be the cause of GERD?
The effect of marijuana on the
symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is controversial. A study in 2002
showed that animals given a synthetic marijuana-like substance had an 80%
reduction in transient relaxations of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is
felt to be a significant cause of reflux. By reducing these relaxation
episodes, symptoms of reflux should actually improve. Other smaller studies
have shown that use of marijuana can actually worsen symptoms of
gastroesophageal reflux disease by decreasing resting pressures of the lower
I recently saw my gastroenterologist as my GERD symptoms have been
worse. He has now recommended surgery. I had heard bad things about surgery in
the past. Is this an acceptable option?
A very recent report out of Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed 200 patients that had
underwent laparascopic anti-reflux surgery over a 10 year period. The results
By definition gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining (gastro = stomach, it is = inflammation). For years, I thought gastritis and reflux (GERD) were pretty much the same thing. Recently though, I've been reading more about gastritis and how it is similar but different than reflux. It is possible to have both reflux and gastritis but you can also have them separately.
A little bit of anatomy may help explain the difference between gastritis and GERD. Where the esophagus meets the stomach there's a sphincter (known as the lower esophageal or cardiac sphincter). This sphincter allows food into the stomach and helps to keep food from backwashing up into the esophagus. Some reflux is normal. When the acid irritates the lining of the esophagus the result is GERD. The symptoms of this are the classic heartburn symptoms as well as the less well known symptoms of chronic cough, voice changes, etc.
So, while GERD is related to irritation in the esophagus, gastritis is rel...
Definition Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. Alternative Names Peptic esophagitis; Reflux esophagitis; GERD; Heartburn - chronic; Dyspepsia - GERD Causes, incidence, and risk factors When you eat, food passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus (also called the food pipe or swallowing tube). Once food is in the stomach, a ring of muscle fibers prevents food from moving backward into the esophagus. These muscle fibers are called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. If this sphincter muscle doesn't close well, food, liquid, and stomach acid can leak back into the esophagus. This is called reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. This reflux may cause symptoms, or can even damage the esophagus. The risk factors for reflux include hiatal hernia (a ...
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