FROM OUR EXPERTS
Two new studies presented at the 72nd American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting highlighted the sometimes confusing connections between gastroesophageal reflux and seemingly unrelated problems such as severe chest pain and chronic cough. In one experiment, researchers at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston studied patients in emergency rooms who complained of serious chest pain. Researchers found that more women than men in their study were being rushed to the emergency room with chest pain that was not related to the heart. In fact, abnormal reflux of acid that would fit the diagnosis of acid reflux disease was seen in 57 percent of the patients. This study also highlighted the fact that men have more upright reflux, while women experience both reflux during sleep and while they are awake. Chronic cough was also considered at this year's annual gastroenterology meeting. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina recogni...
As I sit here writing, I'm in a lot of pain. The left side of my low back is throbbing. Often I can ease this pain by popping the back, but this time that hasn't worked, and neither has Advil. The next step will be to put a prescription pain patch on it.
"Depression hurts," say the Cymbalta commercials. Yes, it does, and antidepressants that, like Cymbalta, work to make more of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine available have also been shown to relieve pain.
My questions arise from my own experience. Although I was formally diagnosed with bipolar relatively late, I see symptoms going clear back to childhood. I began to have chronic pain in my early 20s, first in my neck and head, then crippling pain in my arms that finally moved to my mid and upper back. This was diagnosed, after 9 difficult years, as fibromyalgia. Then later I injured my low back and have had trouble with it ever since, while other areas of my back flare up periodically.
One of t...
You wouldn't think there'd be a link between the stomach and asthma, yet even as far back as the 1970s asthma experts noticed a connection between asthma and gastrointestinal reflux (GERD).
What is GERD?
GERD is a condition where acid from the stomach works its way back up the esophagus. If this condition is left untreated long term, it can eventually lead to esophageal ulcers, esophageal cancer and even lung damage that can cause asthma.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology ( AAAAI.org ), a sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus remains closed while food is being digested to prevent backwash. "However, sometimes it relaxes on the job, allowing stomach acid to flow back, or reflux, into the esophagus."
Studies, the AAAAI notes, show that as many as 70 percent of asthmatics have GERD, the same percentage of asthmatics estimated to have allergies. This is a significant percentage, especially when...
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