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Archive for May, 2012

Avoiding Gastric Reflux (Heartburn) While on Vacation

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

When we are on vacation, we tend to indulge more than at home. We can get carried away and eat a little too much sweets, fatty foods, fried foods, and acidy foods. Later that night we suffer because of our over-indulgence. To prevent those painful nights of heartburn and gastric reflux, and to prevent having to use antacids, H2-receptor blockers such as Tagamet,or Proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec, here are a few tips:
1. First we do not want to cause any problems to the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle we call LES for short is the entrance to the stomach from the esophagus. We do not want this muscle to open at the wrong time. If it does acid from the stomach will go into the esophagus. So while you are on vacation avoid fatty and fried foods. Foods like bacon, sausage, french fries, and creamy sauces will decrease the LES pressure thereby slowing down the digestive process and leaving you feeling full all night. Do not eat heavy meals late at night. Eat your big meals at lunch and then a light supper or appetizers for dinner.
2. Wait three hours before laying down for the night. Elevate your pillow 4 to 6 inches to ensure that the meal will follow gravity and not reverse the meal back into your mouth and esophagus.
3. Do not drink a great amount of coffee, alcohol, or carbonated drinks. Stay away from mints, citrus, and tomatoe products late at night.
4. Reframe from eating chocolate at night. That chocolate dessert you eat at the restaurant contains a chemical called Methylxanthine. This will cause the LES to relax and allow the stomach acid to sneak into your esophagus. Eat your chocolate earlier in the day if you need your chocolate.
5. Some foods that are alkaline and will help prevent gastric reflux are: fruits and vegetables such as apples, dates, any green vegatables, and mushrooms. Ordering more vegetables than carbohydrates such as potatos will help you sleep better and insure a good night sleep on your vacation.

Atypical Symptoms of Celiac Disease: Short Stature

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

In a healthy child with no other symptoms of Celiac Disease, the problem of “short stature” would more often be overlooked by most family physicians.  The doctor would call this small percentage of otherwise healthy children as “petite or short”.  The physician would also reassure the parents telling them that the child will catch up.  Research has shown that these children will show a deficiency of zinc, iron, and foliate, all necessary for normal growth.  According to recent research, if the child is diagnosis in the early years for Celiac Disease and put on a gluten-free diet a complete catch-up in growth will occur in two to three years.  However, if the diagnosis does not happen until the adult years then there are increasing risks of Celiac Disease complications.  These complications are: Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, headaches and other white matter diseases, spontaneous miscarriages, early menopause, and absence of a menstrual period.  While most problems seem to indicate mostly female problems research has associated fertility problems in males with Celiac Disease.

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