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Acid Reflux Goes International

July 15, 2012

Note the last line of this report. We highly recommend drinking Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water to help with acid reflux too.


New focus needed in managing gastrointestinal disorders

KUALA LUMPUR (July 9, 2012): Experts at an Asian Regional Gastrointestinal Media Summit today called for a new focus on the management of the growing problem of gastroesophageal relux disease (GERD) and other acid-related gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.

Dr Denis Ngo, the internal medicine gastroenterologist from the University of Santo Thomas Hospital in Manila, said as a result of dietary changes, rising obesity cases and stress in many parts of Asia, doctors were now seeing a rising number of cases of severe and chronic GI conditions, especially GERD, peptic ulcers and heartburn.

The one-day summit organised by a Japanese pharmaceutical company was told that apart from heartburn, patients with GERD and gastrointestinal disorders also experienced difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia), reduced vitality, disturbed sleep and considerably lower quality of life worst than those suffering from other chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis or congestive heart failures.

In Malaysia, the incidence rose from two per cent to 8.4 per cent over a 10-year period. The prevalence of sysmptom-based GERD in Eastern Asia rose from 5.2 per cent in 2005 to 8.5 per cent in 2010.

Many Malaysians who experienced the symptoms of GERD have either dismissed them as nothing serious or chose to take home remedial or over-the-counter quick-fix medicines such as antacids for short-term relief without seeking proper medical attention.

Dr Tan Huck Joo, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist from the Sunway Medical Centre, said: “GERD in Malaysia is very common and the disease is seen more in men than in women.

“There is no specific reason as to why the disease attacks more men, but that is only generally speaking because the disease is also seen in women patients young and old.”

When asked about treatments for GERD, he said the preferred method was the long-term use of a drug called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs).

“Currently, there are five main types of PPI available in Malaysia, but it is highly advisable to get a diagnosis done before consuming these drugs,” he advised.

Dr Tan also advised those who suffered the two main symptoms of GERD, which were prolonged or continuous heartburn and acid taste in the mouth to get medical help from their doctors.

“For those who have more severe symptoms like bleeding in the stomach, passing black stool, vomiting blood, and aged 45 and above are advised to visit a gastroenterologist,” he said.

For those trying to prevent such disease, he advised a change of lifestyle and weight loss.

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