Health Features

GERD Awareness Week - What one doctor wants you to know (VIDEO)

By April MacIntyre Nov 21, 2012, 7:36 GMT

GERD Awareness Week - What one doctor wants you to know (VIDEO)

One prominent doctor in Los Angeles makes it his mission to educate people to this cancer causing condition on a year-round basis.

GERD Awareness Week is Nov. 18-24. Few people know that though, and they also don't always know the symptoms of GERD and when to see the doctor during the holidays to make the season more comfortable.

One prominent doctor in Los Angeles makes it his mission to educate people to this cancer causing condition on a year-round basis.

Dr. Carson Liu has conducted extensive research and is widely published in the fields of gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery. He is nationally recognized in his fields and has lectured extensively to professional societies on these subjects. The American Diabetes Association has honored Dr. Carson Liu for his work in helping people escape morbid obesity through safe surgery.

Throughout the holiday season, many of us will partake in the abundance and super rich traditional foods that graces their tables. After indulging, however, approximately 30 million Americans will suffer the effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, making their celebrations less than festive.

Dr. Liu, a board certified, frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics, wants you to know about National GERD Awareness Week is November 18-24. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy also urges individuals who suffer from GERD to seek medical diagnosis and treatment to make their holidays and every day comfortable and symptom-free.

GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when contents in the stomach flow back up the esophagus. This happens when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter, opens inappropriately.

Causes

GERD is caused when there is an imbalance between the normal defense mechanisms of the esophagus and offensive factors such as acid and other digestive juices and enzymes in the stomach. Often, the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus is impaired by weakening of the muscle (lower esophageal sphincter) or the presence of a hiatal hernia, where part of the stomach is displaced into the chest.

Hiatal hernias, however, are common and not all people with a hiatal hernia have reflux.

A major cause of reflux is obesity; here, increased pressure in the abdomen overcomes the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus.

Obesity, pregnancy, smoking, excess alcohol use and consumption of coffee, citrus drinks, tomato-based products, chocolate, peppermint and fried and fatty foods can exacerbate reflux symptoms.

Dr. Carson Liu received his medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his internship, residencies and research fellowship at UCLA Medical Center. In 1998, Dr. Carson Liu was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery at UCLA Medical School where he continued to hone his skills in clinical practice, teaching and research.

Dr. Liu spoke to us today about GERD: "If you are suffering from heartburn, hiatal hernia, throat burn, hoarseness caused by burning, please get it checked out. It's probably GERD. It's GERD awareness week!"

"Humphrey Bogart's son wishes his dad had it checked out before dying of esophageal cancer. Please tell your loved ones to see a specialist regarding heartburn!"

http://drcarsonliu.com/



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