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Health Information for Kelsey Patients

For all upper GI disorders nutrition support or dietary advice for swallowing should be contacted at the clinic.

GERD and Hiatal Hernia

Treatment measures should be tailored to patients based on the severity of their symptoms. For recurrent disease that is not adequately controlled by medication the head of the bed should be elevated by 8 inches using a stand, bricks or books, many small meals (4-6 per day) should be eaten with the last meal of the day being small and at least 4 hours before going to sleep.

Foods and drinks to avoid or minimize because they make reflux more likely include: spicy items like tomato sauces in pizza, acid foods like citrus, fried foods, chocolate, and carbonated drinks. Cutting down or eliminating coffee or alcohol totally from the diet can be helpful in persistent cases.

Other approaches for cases not responding to medication include losing weight if over-weight, engaging in regular exercise, smoking cessation, and not wearing tight abdominal clothing. If lifestyle and eating patterns plus medication are not helpful surgical treatment should be considered.

Barrett's Esophagus

The same general recommendations for GERD are advised for patients with Barrett's esophagus.

Esophageal Strictures

Eat small meals with easy to swallow items, frequent small meals are advised. As swallowing improves more solid foods can be eaten. To prevent further damage to the esophagus regular use of a PPI is advised.

Disorders of Esophageal Motility

Eat smaller more frequent meals. Chew food well with slow swallowing in an upright position. Stay upright sitting, standing for two hours after eating and drink plenty of liquids to help empty the esophagus.

Persistent Heartburn

Diet and beverages selected are important with consumption of small meals. Short term antacids like Maalox, Rolaids and Tums may work if only used occasionally. They can cause health problems if used daily. H2 blockers may be helpful. If symptoms continue proton pump inhibitor therapy may be indicated. With severe disease, treat aggressively as GERD.

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