NORWALK, Conn., Nov. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As the holidays approach, doctors can expect to see more patients with gastric reflux and heartburn symptoms. While many of these cases can be caused by heavy holiday meals—seemingly innocent symptoms could be a sign of something more serious.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is characterized by classic heartburn symptoms or atypical symptoms, like chronic cough and hoarseness. GERD is a condition where acidic or non-acidic stomach contents reflux up into the esophagus, and even up into the back of the throat, causing GERD symptoms. GERD may be diagnosed when these symptoms occur more than twice a week.
GERD Awareness Week encourages patients to learn more about their condition, how it can be treated, and the importance of talking to their doctor about chronic symptoms.
According to Anish Sheth, MD, Chief of Gastroenterology, University Medical Center of Princeton, patients with chronic GERD, should talk to their doctor especially if they have symptoms even while on GERD medications. GERD sufferers may be unaware that one of the dangers of chronic reflux is a condition known as Barrett's Esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer.
"Many patients and even doctors may attribute GERD symptoms to over eating, or food triggers like alcohol, caffeine, or spicy foods. While diet changes are important, there may be a weak muscle between the stomach and esophagus that is causing reflux to occur. Medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) suppress acid, but don't prevent the actual reflux. Basically if a patient is a long-term PPI user, they need to see a specialist to discuss options," Dr. Sheth added.
UNDERSTAND GERD TREATMENT OPTIONS
Some patients manage symptoms with diet changes and PPIs. However, 30 percent of GERD patients don't get complete relief from PPIs and many more are concerned about the risks of taking them long-term. Patients should ask their doctor about alternative treatment options, which include surgery, as well as effective, less invasive non-surgical procedures.
The least invasive non-surgical option is Stretta Therapy. Stretta is performed transorally (through the mouth) on an outpatient basis and uses low levels of radiofrequency (RF) energy to treat the weak muscles of the esophagus that may be causing reflux.
"Stretta is an effective option that fits between medications and surgery. After Stretta most patients see a significant improvement of their GERD symptoms and are able to get off medications. Stretta is unique compared to other anti-reflux procedures as nothing is implanted and the anatomy is not changed - so it can be done before or after surgery if necessary," said Dr. Sheth.
Fore more information about GERD and Stretta go to: What is Reflux/GERD?
Stretta is a versatile, non-surgical treatment for GERD that has been proven safe and effective in more than 40 studies, and is available worldwide. Stretta is manufactured by Mederi, stretta-therapy.com.
Audra Friis, 917-519-9577
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SOURCE Mederi Therapeutics Inc.