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- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is the medical name for heartburn
- It can be caused by acidic food, or even insomnia
- Gastroesophageal Reflux is curable, the medicine depends on the frequency of heartburn
The condition of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is more common a problem than we realize. Heartburn is reported at least once a month by 40% of the Americans and almost every day by around 7–10%. According to the World Gastroenterology Organization (2015), the prevalence of GERD worldwide is increasing. It is from 2.5% to 6.6% in Eastern Asia and 13.8% to 25.8% in North America. The reason is not entirely corroborated by facts but speculated that it might be due to obesity and dietary factor due to an unavoidable correlation between them
What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?
The current understanding of the concept and terminology of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD is that it is a group of conditions sharing the similarity of gastroesophageal reflux (regurge of food contents or gastric acid from the stomach into the food pipe) causing troublesome symptoms or some other potential esophageal and extraesophageal diseases.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Causes
The commonest disorder of this group is esophagitis, or an inflammation of the food pipe caused due to the reflux of the contents mentioned before, that erode the food pipe. Some amount of belching is of course physiological and normal. The trouble arises only when there is an excessive reflux.
The mechanism behind the reflux is the incompetence of a sphincter at the junction of the food pipe and the stomach. To delve slightly into the medical facts, the incompetence is majorly caused by transient relaxations (a vasovagal reflex) followed by the sphincter hypotension, or in some cases anatomical damage of the junction as in a hiatus hernia (herniation of the stomach through the diaphragm into the chest).
The other causes of esophagitis include excessive consumption of painkillers, infections (AIDS) or after drinking corrosive acids, household bleaching powder etc.,
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease risk factors
The factors or conditions listed below can further increase the uncomfortableness associated with the condition
- Consumption of excessive junk foods, coffee, chocolates and the like
- Cigarette smoking and alcohol
The condition of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, occurs in conjunction with several other disorders, in the esophagus or away from the esophagus. This wide range of conditions include chronic cough and bronchitis, laryngitis, asthma, dental erosions, sleep apnea, pharyngitis, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic sinusitis, cardiac arrhythmias, and recurrent aspiration pneumonia
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptoms
- Pain in the epigastric region (upper central abdominal region)
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Heartburn and regurgitation( most often increased on bending, straining or lying down)
- Water brash or increased saliva in mouth
- Sensation of lump in throat
- Chest pain (sometimes right sided)
And the condition is always not a simple one to treat. The Alarm symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease are:
- Painful swallowing of food
- Unexplained weight loss
- Repeated Vomiting and indigestion
- Non-visible Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract resulting in a positive fecal blood test or sometimes iron deficiency anemia
- Any visible mass/ swelling in the abdomen
- Family History of any gastrointestinal malignancies
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Investigations
For the diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, the most recommended test is a 24-hour ambulatory monitoring of the pH levels. This test evaluates how often the acid from the stomach regurgitates into the food pipe and to find out if this acid is related to the symptoms. The food pipe or esophagus has a muscle at the entrance to the stomach to keep the food from coming back up into the esophagus. If this valve does not work properly, the symptoms of heartburn or pain occur. Endoscopy is done in those patients with the alarm symptoms
When the condition of esophagitis persists for a very long time, it can cause bleeding and strictures. Also, a condition called the Barret’s Metaplasia occurs that progresses over to Adenocarcinoma (cancer).
Can Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease be cured?
Drugs are available over-the-counter agents for milder symptoms. Antacids and histamine H2 antagonists decrease the symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Antiflatulents and adsorbents are given to reduce gaseous symptoms. Acid-lowering therapy like proton pump inhibitors would also be given, especially in patients affected by the condition of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease for a long time. This class of drugs: omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, and pantoprazole show similar efficacy in suppressing or neutralizing the acid secreted. These medications are also available over-the-counter.
Also Read: Liquor in moderation could be good for heart
The management of the complications is a different strategy altogether. It is best advised to visit a physician when the milder form of symptoms occur and not to postpone the visit.
Another important point to be noted is that the drugs are recommended for milder symptoms, if and only if the prevention strategies mentioned below do not work. Long-term therapy with these drugs come with their own share of debilitating side effects. Hence, it is strongly advised to avoid overuse of the drugs, especially when bought over the counter.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Prevention
This methodology of approach is even better. Prevent the condition. Lifestyle and dietary modification is a good venture. Avoiding fatty foods and consuming less alcohol, coffee, avoiding meals before sleep and getting a refreshing sleep. In those who experience the symptoms at night, it is advised to sleep with their heads elevated a bit. Another major step towards is to exercise regularly and avoid becoming overweight or obese.
This article originally appeared at Same Condition- a patient to patient network. Here is the link of the article: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-causes-treatment-and-prevention/
Atop the Vindhyagiri hills in Karnataka, a 57-foot-tall statue stands. This is the statue of Lord Gomateshwara, or Bahubali, as he is known to the local patrons. The surrounding area is filled with temples where each of the many Jain Tirthankaras sits.
Sharavanabelagola is named after a pond that is located at the foothills. 'Bel' in Kannada means white, and 'kola' means pond. This is a sacred water body to the activities of the temples. It is a tourist attraction and a pilgrim destination located 85 kilometres from Mysore, and 145 kilometres from the capital, Bangalore.
The pond that Sharavanabelagola is named after Image source: wikimedia commons
Since the statue is placed at such a great height, pilgrims are made to make a journey to the top of the hill by foot. They are required to climb the stone steps barefoot as an act of piety and devotion. Palanquins are offered only to senior citizens who wish to worship at the temple.
In 3 B.C, when India was ruled by the Mauryan Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya became a Jain monk and took up residence in the Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri hills. He is supposedly responsible for the establishment of the temple complex at Shravanabelagola, where he lived till he died. Later on, his grandson, Ashoka made some additional changes to the place.
A shop in the tourist section that sells handmade items Image source: wikimedia commons
Every twelve years, a Mahamastabhisheka is conducted, and Jains from every part congregate to witness it. The statue is washed with water, rice flour, sugarcane juice, saffrom, sandalwood paste, gold, and silver flowers, curd, ghee, milk, and turmeric, and all the monks offer special prayers. The surrounding temples and rocks are preserved as archaeological wonders owing to the 800 edicts and inscriptions found here which span 600 to 1830.
Keywords: Shravanabelagola, Jainism, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Karnataka
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle