Whether you call it heartburn, reflux, GERD or gastroparesis, these different names are all for one condition—burning acid in the throat and mouth and August is National Gastroparesis Awareness Month.
Dr. Dennis Begos explained, “Gastroparesis causes delayed emptying of the stomach acids and food, which creates numerous symptoms including acid reflux. Along with a great deal of discomfort and systemic health-related factors, what many people don’t realize is that acid reflux can adversely affect your lifestyle and coping abilities due to its chronic bodily distress.
“Over 20% of the population has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), but that’s not accounting for the nearly 45 million Americans that silently suffer from the symptoms of IBS.” Dr. Begos explained, “There are two different types of this syndrome, IBS-D, and IBS-M. IBS-D is recurrent or chronic diarrhea, and IBS-M is a combination of episodic diarrhea or constipation. Both of these types of the disorder are often not diagnosed until 5-10 years after a patient’s initial experience.”
The IBS & Gastroparesis Connection
Many individuals that have gastroparesis also have IBS. These disorders seem to run parallel to each other due to their muscle contraction correlation. Dr. Dennis Begos Continued, “It is thought that the muscles lining of the intestines, esophagus, and stomach contribute to and influence both IBS and gastroparesis symptoms. Stress causes both IBS and gastroparesis to flare. Many of the foods that exacerbate both conditions are the same such as caffeine, fatty foods, spices, chocolate, dairy, and onions.”
“Gastroparesis and IBS can be controlled with medication. Antacids work to tamp down both disorders. There are several different classes of drugs that work by helping to move food through the stomach and intestines more quickly and also by controlling the amount of acid in the stomach, which consequently alleviates the acid in the throat and mouth.” Dr. Begos explained further, “Your diet plays a huge role in the control of your gastroparesis and IBS. Lemon water reduces acid by reducing the PH levels in the stomach. The same holds true for apple cider vinegar diluted in water, but you must be certain to dilute the ratio in water to avoid excessive erosion and other acid-related issues.”
Surgeon, Dr. Dennis Begos has over 20 years of clinical experience in both academic and community hospitals and has held numerous key leadership positions, including Medical Staff President and Chair of Surgery. With his extensive experience in teaching and medical writing, Dr. Begos has been highly esteemed by his peers and patients over the past few decades, as he is recognized for his surgical expertise, innovation, and his significant experience with quality and patient safety analysis and reporting.