Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ) is a debilitating problem for sufferers -- heartburn, difficulty swallowing, chest pain and acid reflux. According to a Mayo Clinic study that will be presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2010 in New Orleans May 1-5, even moderate weight gain can exacerbate those symptoms, DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researcher in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. The good news, however, according to Michael D. Crowell, Ph.D., FACG, researcher in Gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, along with colleagues at the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota, is that weight loss through restriction of calories and increasing physical activity significantly improves symptoms of GERD.
A pathology test may help doctors distinguish between two separate but overlapping esophageal disorders that require different courses of treatment, according to a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The study, presented Tuesday, May 4 at the annual Digestive Disease Week conference in New Orleans, compared biopsies taken from the esophageal linings of patients treated at UNC Hospitals who had a confirmed diagnosis of either eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) or gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ). EoE is a newly recognized but increasingly seen condition in which certain white blood cells (the eosinophil) move to the lining of the esophagus, a place where they normally should not be. The main symptoms of EoE in adult patients are trouble swallowing or food getting stuck in the esophagus.
Zegerid OTC Provides Greater And Faster Acid Control Than Prevacid 24HR According To Head-To-Head Clinical Study
Merck Consumer Care has announced results of a head-to-head clinical study showing that ZEGERID OTC™ offers greater and faster acid control than Prevacid ® 24HR. While acid control is an industry standard measure for acid-reducing drugs, greater and faster acid control does not imply greater and faster heartburn symptom relief. The goal of the study was to evaluate the speed and amount of acid reduction when the medications were at full effect, as measured on day seven, which is halfway through the recommended course of treatment. Both products are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of heartburn medication that works by deactivating acid pumps in the stomach. "Though there are a number of factors that cause heartburn, the level of acid in the stomach is a key contributor to the problem, " explained Dr.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), defined as passage of gastric contents into the esophagus is a normal process that occurs in healthy infants, children and adults. When GER causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ). During infancy, GER is common and can manifest with specific symptoms as vomiting and non-specific symptoms as irritability and cough. Association of non-specific symptoms with GER is a main problem in the diagnosis of GERD. Timely association of GER episodes and symptom episodes are expressed by symptom-reflux association analysis (SAA) parameters. Abnormal results of SAA parameters point towards GERD. Three SAA parameters are commonly used, symptom index (SI), symptom sensitivity index (SSI) and symptom association probability (SAP).
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that high dose, long term use of a class of drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), for conditions such as heartburn, acid reflux and gastric ulcers, carries an increased risk of bone fractures in the wrist, hip and spine. In their warning to consumers and health care professionals on Tuesday, the FDA said the product labeling will be changed to include a safety warning about the increased potential risk. PPIs are available in the US as prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs. Prescription PPIs are used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ), ulcers of the stomach and small intestine, and inflammation of the esophagus. They include: Esomeprazole (brand name Nexium, from AstraZeneca). Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant, from Takeda).