Sunday, July 25, 2010

Got GERD? Judd's Guide and FAQ

Howdy Folks and Kin,

There's lots goin' on today in the world: we got lots of poor folks in East Iowa what are gettin' flooded out on account of that thar Lake Delhi damn what busted; we got them North Korean and our US military revenuin' warmongers a flexin' their muscles and what not over thar in the East Sea; we got 19 people what were trampled to death over thar in Germany at a "Love Parade"; we got them folks over thar in Cleveland still smartin' from losin' Lebron James and doin' their best "rah rah rah sis boom bah" to jump start them poor, poor, pitiful and woeful Cleveland Browns; we also got some tropical storms a brewin' in the Gulf of Mexico given' them oil spill cleanup folks a headache.

And meanwhile, I still got me some GERD! That's right! As I reported to y'all a while back, I had me some pains in my stomach and my chest, so I went on down to the hospital fer a check up with Dr. Ben Dover, and well, after a test what I'll tell y'all about in a bit, I was diagnosed with GERD, gastritis and Barrett's Esophagus. The only thing I didn't have was an ulcer -but bein' on "portion control" and havin' to go off coffee, soda pop and alcohol, I surely am a gonna end up with one!

Ok, so as a public service, and to help y'all with these ailments, I'm gonna throw my 2-cents and a wooden nickel onto the information highway and write y'all up some plain talk and some good advice on these medical ailments. Y'all can thank me later! So here goes my GERD FAQ:

What is GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)?

- That that is a big phrase for what gives y'all heartburn after eatin' foods like pizza and fried food. It's an important problem to known about, especially fer all you porkers like me what like to stuff yourselves until y'all feel as bloated as tick on fat hound dog. When the stomach's get full, some of that acid, (and sometimes bile, too!) backwashes into your esophagus and causes all sorts of evils. That backwash is what's called the reflux and it's sort of like when your sink drain starts gurglin' up what looks like the Miami River and last week's chicken liver parts what didn't make into the fryin' pan.

Are there any other symptoms of GERD except for heartburn?

- You betcha! If y'all experience some of these other symptoms, y'all want to get yourselves over to them doctors, and quick just in case: chest pain (I had that), difficulty swallowin' (I had that), dry cough (I didn't have that), hoarseness or sore throat (I didn't have that neither), a lump in the throat (that would be a "no" fer me), regurgitation of food or sour liquid (yes, I had that a lot!).

How do I know if I got me some GERD?

- If ya'll are moderate eaters and what get heartburn more than twice a week, then y'all need to get checked out. If ya'll are fat porkers like me and get heartburn every time to y'all stuff y'all's face, then y'all definitely need to get checked out.

Can't I just chug a lug some bottles of antacid?

- Well, this what most folks do fer a spell. But, if that thar heart burn persists, becomes more severe and wakes y'all up in the middle of the night a coughin' and a gaggin on rot gut, then y'all need to get on over to see the doctor. Don't make the same mistake what I made. I thought I was pretty smart swillin' down extra doses of that thar Maalox antacid, until they had a run on it at the Walmart and ran out. So I got me some of that thar Milk of Magnesia on account of Cousin Justin told me it was an antacid, too. What he didn't mention was that it was also a laxative! I tell y'all what, after a couple of quarts of that thar stuff, my dirt path to the outhouse ended up lookin' a mud trench from my runnin' back and forth so much! Know what I mean? I think y'all do!

What causes that thar GERD?

- Well, besides the overeatin' problem I mentioned to y'all above, the main problem is what's called a weak "lower esophageal sphincter". That's right, thar's lots of sphincters in the body, not just the one we always hear about in our butts. Now, usually that thar sphincter keeps the food and acid in our stomachs. But, some of us sort of got us a "physically challenged" sphincter. We got us sort of the couch potato variety of sphincter. So that means it's weak or relaxes abnormally and lets that thar stomach acid backwash up into your esophagus. When this happens a lot, the acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus and give you esophagitis. Over time, that thar inflammation causes complications such as bleedin', breathin' problems, or even the development of Barrett's Esophagus.

Barrett's Esophagus? What the heck is that?

- Well, to make a long story short, that there is a condition when the parts of lining of the esophagus changes color and composition. The lining sort of toughens up and becomes like the lining of the intestines - y'all know where them is, dontcha? Them is what's on the other side of the stomach! So, I reckon that in tryin' to fight that thar GERD, our bodies gets confused and forget which end is up! The problem with Barrett's Esophagus is that those of you what got it, like me, have a higher risk of esophageal cancer - and y'all surely don't want none of that! So, get on over to your gastroenterologist, but quick!

What is a gastroenterologist?

- That thar is a special kind doctor what is an expert in all matters of the stomach, the esophagus and, in General Lee (y'all know I know I mean generally!) is an expert of the digestive systems. Them medical folks are basically like the roto-rooters of your stomach. They're gonna take a look at it and your esophagus, too.

Oh Lord! How do they do that?

- They do that by givin' y'all an endoscopy. Just like a roto-rooter, they got somethin' like a plumber's snake with a camera on the end. Well, they snake that toilet jack down your throat and take a look-see at what's goin' on. Now, don't worry none, I had this done to me and even though it's called an ENDodoscopy, trust me they do go in from the top, not up from the bottom. They also put your lights out fer a spell with some good drugs. I tell y'all what, I was thankful fer that, cause I couldn't imagine them forcin' no electric eel down my throat without my up-chuckin' none!

Ok, so what do I do if I got me some GERD or Barrett's Esophagus?

1) Take drugs: Y'all will take some expensive and funny named pills. Them is called H2 blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors, and them ain't got nothing to do with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Lot's of y'all might have read about that thar "purple pill" in the Reader's Digest and them other magazines what don't have no cigarette or alcohol advertisements no more, but plenty of BIG BUSINES drug pushin' pharmaceuticals ads, what you a need your lawyers to make sense out of.

2) Change your diet: Y'all need to cut out fatty foods (you know what them is - all the good stuff, as well as some comfort foods), acidic foods (tomatoes and tomato sauces and yes, even BBQ sauce, citrus fruits, pizza), caffeine (coffee, tea, soda pop, chocolate), and alcohol. Yes folks, I know that don't leave much else to eat or drink - but them is the facts.

3) Eat smaller portions: This here is what I mean by "portion control". Stop stuffin' your faces until y'all pass out. On the plus side though, ya'll can eat more often. Have a small bite to eat every few hours or so and make it count!

4) Avoiding eatin' three or four hours before bedtime: This will help all y'all fat porkers (like me) to lose weight, too!

5) Lose weight: Time to drop some of that heavy load, folks. Y'all are gonna have to change your eatin' habits anyway, so this is a good time to start workin' on that new svelter you! I might give y'all some ideas on this in another postin'.

6) Don't wear no tight clothes around your belly or waist: Loosen that belt and pull out that thar shirt tail. Better yet, get yourself some suspenders like me! They're always fashionable and go with t-shirts. Tip: make them hang loose or you men folk will end up singin' them honky tonk songs in the falsetto fashion.

7) Raise the head of your bed by 6 inches: This here is plain physics. Use gravity to keep what y'all ate in your stomach, and the avid, too. Y'all can pretend to be an astronaut travellin' to the moon to get some that thar cheese. I'd avoid a trip to Uranus, though. (That thar was a joke! Didja all get it?)

8) No smokin': Not much else for me to say here that y'all don't know. Folks, just put them coffin nails down, cause they ain't gonna do you no good.

How about some of that thar medical marijuana?

- Sorry to you dopers out thar, but I ain't read no nothin' about no Mary Jane and GERD. I understand they might start given some out over at them VA hospitals, but like I wrote above, smokin' don't help - not even that thar weed!

I think I got me an alien implant from when I was picked by that thar "Dero" UFO. Can that be causin' my heartburn?

- I don't know much about that none, but I can tell you that stress definitely causes the stomach to make more acid. That's partially why some folks get ulcers. I got me the gastritis on account of the same reason. We all need to reduce the stress in our lives some, so if any of y'all got any good ideas, other than what them dopers above might suggest, leave a comment and let me know.

Where else can I get some information on GERD?

- Here are some links fer y'all what I thought were helpful:


Barrett's Esophagus:

Recipes and Good Eatin' Ideas:

Alien Implants:

Judd, how do we thank you fer sharin' with us your sage wisdom and good counsel?

- On the side of the page, there's link what says "Be A Patron ". Use it and find out how y'all can receive a free download of our new record - Jugmongers: Live At The Hootenanny.

Well, for all y'all what got GERD, I wish y'all well! Yes, I know that takin' pills is easy, but goin' on "portion control" is a pain in the butt, -but at least y'all won't have a pain in the chest, or a gurglin' stomach neither!

All the best,
- Judd Jugmonger
PS. Here is some good readin' fer all y'all what want to learn more about dealin' with GERD, losin' weight and eatin' well.

Eating for Acid Reflux: A Handbook and Cookbook for Those with HeartburnTell Me What to Eat If I Have Acid Reflux: Nutrition You Can Live WithChronic Heartburn: Managing Acid Reflux and GERD Through Understanding, Diet and Lifestyle -- Includes More than 100 RecipesHow to Stop Heartburn: Simple Ways to Heal Heartburn and Acid RefluxNo More Heartburn: Stop the Pain in 30 Days--Naturally! : The Safe, Effective Way to Prevent and Heal Chronic Gastrointestinal DisordersCoping with Chronic Heartburn: What You Need to Know About Acid Reflux and GERDThe Doctor's Guide to Gastrointestinal Health: Preventing and Treating Acid Reflux, Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diverticulitis, Celiac Disease, Colon ... Pancreatitis, Cirrhosis, Hernias and moreHeartburn & Reflux for DummiesHealthy Digestion the Natural Way: Preventing and Healing Heartburn, Constipation, Gas, Diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel and Gallbladder Diseases, Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and MoreCasebook: Alien Implants (Whitley Strieber's Hidden Agendas)The Pocket Diet & Recipe Book: Perfect Portion Control That Works!Meal Measure - Manage Your Weight, One Portion At a TimePortions for Life: A Better Way to a Healthier Life, One Portion at a Time!Portion Savvy: The 30-Day Smart Plan for Eating Well