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Millions of Americans with sensitive digestive systems experience heartburn symptoms at least once a week. There are many causes that can activate heartburn including medications, spicy or greasy foods, obesity, and even stress. Being aware of what flares up your heartburn will help you avoid the uncomfortable condition. Silver Cross Hospital is offering a lecture on why it’s important to find relief from chronic heartburn to prevent the acid reflux from escalating into a more serious health condition.

Dr. Kamran Ayub, Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross, will present a free program on Managing Heartburn/GERD: Endoscopic, on Tuesday, May 22 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Dr. Ayub will discuss the risks and treatment options for heartburn, acid reflux or GERD, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. In addition, learn about dietary management of GERD from registered dietitian Amy Readle. FREE. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).  

Heartburn Can Lead to Esophageal Cancer
Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation in the chest after a heavy meal or while bending over, lying on your back or lifting.  It occurs when the sphincter doesn't close completely. Acid from the stomach comes back up into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation. Other symptoms may include chronic cough or sore throat, persistent hiccups, feeling of having a lump in the throat, and trouble swallowing. Pregnant women often experience heartburn as the growing fetus increases intra-abdominal pressure.

Heartburn that won't go away needs medical attention because it may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pill or medication induced esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, cancer of the esophagus, ulcers, or other gastrointestinal problems. Chest pain, for instance, can be a symptom of GERD, esophageal spasm, angina and heart attack. Pain from any of these can happen following a large meal.

“So, if you suffer severe or chronic heartburn or chest pain, it's vital you find out if your problem is digestive or cardiac,” says said Kamran Ayub, M.D., gastroenterologist and Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross Hospital.

For a person with Barrett’s esophagus, which is a change in the lining of the tube (esophagus) that carries food and liquids in the mouth to the stomach, Dr. Ayub says the risk of developing esophageal cancer is similar to the risk of developing colon cancer for patients who have a colon polyp. “It usually starts with GERD, which can cause Barrett’ esophagus and lead to esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Ayub. “That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms of GERD, the most common being heartburn.”

About 3.3 million Americans age 50 and older have Barrett’s.  Barrett’s esophagus patients have a 5% chance of the disease progressing to esophageal cancer over a 10-year span.  With advanced technology, Barrett’s can be successfully treated at Silver Cross Hospital.

Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.