A very recent report out of Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed 200 patients that had underwent laparascopic anti-reflux surgery over a 10 year period. The results were almost universal near-normal quality of life scores, as well as considerable satisfaction with long-term results. The authors concluded that while some recent reports in the medical literature have questioned whether the long-term benefits of surgical repair outweigh the risks present in any sort of surgery, their surveys results indicate that, in appropriate selected patients, antireflux surgery is an excellent treatment alternative that provides very good results for patient quality of life. You should certainly speak with a surgeon to see if he feels that you would benefit from surgery.
Whenever I put on a few pounds, it seems like I experience more reflux symptoms. Am I just imagining this?
I recently saw my gastroenterologist as my GERD symptoms have been worse. He has now recommended surgery. I had heard bad things about surgery in the past. Is this an acceptable option?
The effect of marijuana on the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is controversial. A study in 2002 showed that animals given a synthetic marijuana-like substance had an 80% reduction in transient relaxations of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is felt to be a significant cause of reflux. By reducing these relaxation episodes, symptoms of reflux should actually improve. Other smaller studies have shown that use of marijuana can actually worsen symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease by decreasing resting pressures of the lower esophageal sphincter.
I suffer from GERD. What types of food should I stay away from?
Could marijuana smoking be the cause of GERD?
I frequently wake up in the morning with a cough, and have seen a pulmonologist who finds nothing wrong. A friend suggested I take Prilosec and things have improved. Do I need to have any tests, or can I just assume the cough is from GERD?
Recent research supports the link between obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The risk markedly increases the larger the body mass. The mechanism is an increase in the pressure in the abdominal cavity forcing stomach contents to head towards the esophagus. This is similar to one of the ways that pregnancy causes worsening of gastroesophageal reflux. Patients that are overweight and suffer gastroesophageal reflux disease will frequently have relief of symptoms upon losing weight. Weight loss is an important behavorial modification that can lead to resolution of symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
There are basically three ways that foods can worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease. Caffeine and alcohol can stimulate acid secretion. If there is more acid produced by the stomach, there is a greater chance of acid refluxing into the esophagus. Fatty foods tend to slow down contractions of the stomach. This also leads to acid being present in the stomach for a longer period of time, making it more likely to reflux into the esophagus. Finally, caffeine, chocolate and peppermints lower the pressure of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach, allowing acid from the stomach to more readily reflux into the esophagus. A lot of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease will be able to avoid medications if they stay away from the foods that tend to increase acid production and promote reflux.
Could marijuana smoking be the cause of GERD? The effect of marijuana on the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is controversial. A study in 2002 showed that animals given a synthetic marijua
A Temple University report, published in 2017, investigated the role of cannabinoids on esophageal function. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant and the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The human ECS regulates different functions throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The ECS also enables humans to experience the effects of cannabis.
Marijuana can decrease pain, so GERD patients do not need to take pain medicine that irritates their stomach and esophagus. A Harvard Medical School review of several cannabinoid studies confirmed high-quality evidence to support the use of medical marijuana to treat chronic pain.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Kidney problems
- Calcium loss and weak bones
It is common to experience gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn once in a while. However, if you have heartburn more than twice a week for a few weeks, it could mean you have GERD. In other words, GERD is a more long-lasting, severe form of gastroesophageal reflux. Untreated GERD can cause health problems over time.
Some studies show mental health impacts GI health. For example, studies of patients with gastric fistulas have shown anger increases stomach acidity. Likewise, certain stressful life factors and the onset of GERD are linked.
For example, antacids may cause:
Although stress alone may not be enough to cause GERD, it can take a toll on the body and the digestive system. Medical marijuana can help patients relax and calm their minds. For instance, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago, individuals who took a low dose of THC experienced lower stress levels after taking a psychosocial test compared to those who took a placebo. However, study participants who took a higher dose of THC found the test “challenging” or “threatening,” which supports the idea that correct marijuana dosage is critical in achieving the desired effects.
- Change diet
- Avoid overeating
- Lose weight if necessary
- Avoid eating two to three hours before bed
- Quit smoking tobacco
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Wear loose-fitting clothing around the abdomen
- Avoid lying down or reclining three hours after eating
- Take antacids
- Take over-the-counter medication
- Chew food slowly and thoroughly
See how medical marijuana could help relieve Gastroesophageal Reflux symptoms. See how weed can help with Gerd related nausea, acid reflux and stress.