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Health Tip: Heartburn or GERD?

Heartburn or GERD?

Heartburn. The burning sensation in the chest we experience following an occasional heavy meal or period of stress. Heartburn pain is the result of stomach acid washing up into the esophagus as a result of impaired digestion. Heartburn is a common issue, and for most of us, natural supplements such as enzymes are quite helpful for the occasional acid indigestion and discomfort.

If you experience heartburn frequently, please consult with your doctor as this may indicate a larger and more serious problem known as GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD is a disease condition often associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms of GERD should not be ignored as they can affect the quality of your life, cause bleeding strictures of the esophagus and worst of all, cancer.

Endoscopy is one method of diagnosis for the condition, but should be reserved for more severe and less responsive cases. The consensus is that the procedure has been overused. For many, lifestyle changes are very effective for treating GERD, primarily weight loss, avoiding smoking and reducing alcohol intake. Examine your diet and investigate potential dietary triggers or food intolerances. In certain cases prescription drugs may be required.

In her presentation in May, 2012, in Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2012, author Rebecca M. Lovell, MD, from Leeds Gastroenterology Institute in the United Kingdom, indicated that prevalence of GERD is 4 times higher among people with IBS. Read more about that meta-analysis here. 

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Health Tip: The Gut

Connecting the dots

The body has no walls and each organ system interacts with every other and affects their function either in a positive or negative fashion.

The gut is a primary and central organ system which is truly the hub for the body as it is involved with digestion and nutrition vital for every organ in the body.

But in addition, its role in regulating metabolism, energy balance, hunger and satiety are not appreciated.

The gut is a primary detoxification center for environmental toxins food contaminants and drug metabolism.  Without it, almost all the foods and drugs we ingest would be toxic. Independent of its role in digestion, the gut plays a vital role in immunity...that is protecting the body from harmful invaders both internalized and on the surface.  As a regulator of the inflammatory response, it plays a role in chronic illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis and probably dementias such as alzheimer's.

There is a growing body of evidence that the gut with its connection to the brain via the nervous system, blood vessels ,and hormones plays a vital role in mood issues and behavioral conditions. Altering the gut's ecology, removing toxic substances, and enhancing its performance with dietary changes, probiotics and digestive enzymes can have profound effects on the gut and all the other organ systems.

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Health Tip: Protect your endothelial cells

Protect your endothelial cells.

You ask what are endothelial cells.

They may be the most important cells of the body that most people have never heard about.

Worried about heart disease or diabetes or sexual function?

It is the health of the endothelial cells that determine health or illness.

THESE ARE THE CELLS THAT LINE YOUR BLOOD VESSELS AND DETERMINE WHETHER THEY ARE STICKY…WHETHER PLAQUE BUILDS UP…WHETHER THEY CLOT.

Treat them well by maintaining your weight, not smoking, exercising and reducing stress.

Eating the correct nutrients, and you will be rewarded.

I have done several studies testing individuals using a device called the endopat, which measures the health of the endothelial cells and I use it to guide my treatments.

Of interest, is a recent study which shows that natural supplement Pycnogenol® improves endothelial function in a people who have heart disease. You can find out more about the results of this study by visiting, www.pycnogenol.com.

I am conducting other studies to find other substances as well. The endothelial cells may be the fountain of youth……

Do not make them angry. Keep them healthy.

Media Contact

Steven Lamm, MD

  • (212) 988-1146