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medical illustration showing a colon with polyps in it | GI NorthColorectal cancer screening highlights just how true it is that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Consider for a moment that most health screening tests allow only for early detection. While this is an incredibly important process that provides the best chance at full recovery, colorectal cancer screening goes one step further. The technique used for this screening test allows both the detection and treatment of early stage colorectal lesions, thereby preventing their transition to cancer. Learning more about the screening process can help encourage participation, the only factor limiting the efficacy of this type of cancer screening.

Why do I need colorectal cancer screening?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in America. The risk of developing this condition, sometimes referred to as bowel cancer, is increased by factors such as the presence of polyps in the colon or rectum, a family history of similar cancers and some genetic conditions. While awareness of risk factors is important for identifying patients who may need to start earlier colorectal cancer screening, this condition commonly occurs in many patients who had no known risk factors. Given the high prevalence rate, recommendations for screening state that everyone should receive a colonoscopy once every 10 years from the age of 50.

What should I expect during colorectal cancer screening?

The most effective screening tool for colorectal cancer is colonoscopy. This procedure allows quick, painless access to the areas most commonly affected by bowel cancer. Colonic polyps have been identified as very early stage lesions that can gradually develop into cancerous lesions. Any polyps discovered during the procedure can also be removed during colonoscopy, making the process one that includes detection, treatment and prevention.

For best results, patients are encouraged to follow instructions for colonoscopy preparation the day before the procedure. Just prior to the start of the procedure, patients receive a mild sedative. For most people, this means that after the medication has worn off, the colonoscopy is remembered a bit like a dream. This can help with any lingering fears, discomfort or embarrassment about the procedure. Recovery after colonoscopy includes letting the sedatives wear off and may include a sensation of bloating for about a day following the procedure.

Who can perform colorectal cancer screening?

While endoscopy is an instrument is widespread use, professionals who specialize in identifying the lesions associated with colorectal cancer are those best prepared to catch and treat these conditions early. The gastroenterology specialists at GI North are experts in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the bowel. The GI North healthcare team led by Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano serves Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, Suwanee and the entire Atlanta metro area. Patients preferring health care services in Spanish are welcome to request Dr. Quijano. Find out today how GI North can make screening for one of the leading causes of cancer a welcome part of your healthcare routine.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

medical illustration showing colon cancer | GI NorthIn the past, colon cancer was most often found in people over 50 years of age. However, new studies show that colon cancer is on the rise in younger adults. According to WebMD, the disease has increased by more than 2% every year among those aged 20 to 34 and nearly half a percent annually among ages 35 to 49. Interestingly, rates declined by approximately 1 percent in people who are aged 50 or older. Moreover, research shows that the highest increases are with rectal cancers that are practically 4% each year. While, colon cancer rates increased nearly 3% each year.

Research Analysis

From 1975 through 2010, researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute analyzed numerous data. They discovered that the general colon cancer rate for Americans decreased by approximately 1 percent each year during that time. As well, the drop was similar in both men and women.

Age was most definitely a factor. For example, twenty years ago colorectal cancer was rarely found in people in their 20s, 30s or 40s. In addition, the research foretold that by 2020 and 2030; colon cancer rates will have jumped by around 38 percent and 90 percent, among people aged 20 to 34. As well, the rates are expected to drop by about 23 to 41 percent among people 50 years old and older.

Because of this drastic rise in colon cancer among the younger, there are many experts researching potential causes and external impacts like behavioral aspects and lack of screening. Other experts agree that lifestyle and diet plays a big factor in the rise of cancer in the colon. Unfortunately, many experts claim that there are no standardized recommendations for screening patients under 50 without risk factors.

With this in mind, it makes it difficult to diagnose cancer in the colon since there a few early signs of the disease. In truth, many patients who have existing symptoms are in the advanced stages of cancer. This definitely explains why there is a high rate in meager prognosis for younger patients who have many of the symptoms.

Moreover, many specialists state that they are unclear as to why there is a sudden surge in colon cancer among the young.

Knowing the Risk Factors

It is very common for people to be unfamiliar with the risk factors of the disease. This is why it is imperative that you discuss the possible risks with your physician or a specialist such as Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano at GI North located in the Cumming, GA area. Actually, it is important that all adults to consider early screening, especially if there are any risk factors.

And remember, colon cancer remains the third most common cancer in America. In fact, nearly 143,000 people were diagnosed with colon cancer. Additionally, studies show that there were close to 51,000 deaths from the disease.

Services and Screening

GI North offers a complete colonoscopy. Although this may sound a bit scary, the procedure is quite simple. Both Dr. Cofrancesco and Spanish speaking Dr. Quijano have years of experience and expertise. As well, GI North offers screening and other tests you can take to determine if you need a thorough colonoscopy. And for your convenience, GI North is located Cumming, GA and also serves Alpharetta, Canton, Roswell, Suwanee and beyond.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

We will be in our new space June 27, 2016

Widget for home pg GiNorthYou may not know that GI-North has grown! We’ve added additional staff, new nurses, and a new doctor. We’ve just outgrown our space!

We are proud to announce that we will be moving upstairs to Suite 4000 on June 27, 2016. The building location is the same – 1505 Northside Blvd., Suite 4000, Cumming, GA 30041.

We will continue to give our patients the same friendly service as before. The new location will allow us to provide more patients with the care they need.

We look forward to seeing you soon in our new office home!

 

What is a fatty liver condition?

medical illustration showing a healthy liver and one affected by fatty liver diseaseExcess fat in the hepatic cells leads to a condition known as fatty liver. Due to exceeding amounts of dietary fat, a person slowly builds up fatty tissue in his body. While the fat accumulation is a benign condition, it can gradually cause liver inflammation and possible scarring in the vital organ. A fatty liver disease can be a result of excess alcohol consumption or a progressive complex liver disease caused due to excess fat intake through diet.

How does a diet play an important role?

The fatty liver condition is strongly associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. When a person has obesity, he or she is more prone to a metabolic disorder due to insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. A combination of symptoms caused due to metabolic syndrome and poor diet can increase the risk of many chronic degenerative diseases in a person.

Can nutrition therapy help?

Studies on the effects of nutritional therapy on the metabolic syndrome conditions claim that an optimal diet plan can significantly improve a person’s health and prevent fatty liver diseases. A diet rich in whole grains, fresh vegetables, lean protein and lots of fluid can help a person in achieving weight loss through caloric restriction, recover from NAFLD and improve his overall health. Evidences from several medical studies also prove that dietary compositions can directly influence the development of a non-alcoholic fatty liver condition in a person. There’s evidence that nutrients from a good diet can decrease the levels of liver inflammation, improve insulin resistance and boost fat burning by using serum lipids.

Diet plans to prevent fatty liver:

1. Raw plant food:
Raw plant foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help a person in losing weight. When following a diet for fat reduction and weight loss, including raw vegetables and fruits in the diet is highly recommended. Because certain fruits and vegetables are low in sugar, they help in fighting insulin surge and metabolic disorders. Plus, a daily dose of high fiber helps in losing more fat eventually.

2. Cooked vegetables:
A portion of the meal should include different varieties of nutritious starchy and non-starchy vegetables. Instead of eating processed sugary foods, desserts and breads, include these cooked vegetables. These vegetables fulfill your total carbohydrate requirement for each day.

3. Lean protein:
The idea of including 1/3 of protein in your diet is always ideal to maintain your health and supply your body with essential amino acids. When it comes to choose the right proteins, stick to the lean protein varieties. Any seafood, poultry, eggs and legumes come under this category. Vegans and vegetarians can opt for a plant or dairy based protein supplement. Avoiding fried and broiled meat is good while following this diet plan for preventing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

A professional approach to treat your existing metabolic and gastrointestinal problems is always advised. At GI North, patients will be able to learn, understand and treat their metabolic and gastrointestinal problems. Experienced GI North gastroenterology specialists, Simon R. Cofrancesco and bilingual Dr. Sergio Quijano offer an easy and effective care plan for each patient with digestive problems. From diagnosis to advanced technological care and custom treatment plans to dietary changes, patients can expect to find world-class treatment and individualized attention from both Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano at GI North. While the office is located at Cumming in north Georgia, the center also serves many patients from Alpharetta, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Duluth and Johns Creek, Milton, Suwanee, and Canton.

Reference:

A Liver Cleansing Diet Menu: Eat for Good Health

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

What Exactly is an Adenoma?

photo of keyboard with a button for colon polyps | AdenomasAn adenoma is a tumor that is benign, not cancerous and is comprised of epithelial tissue, which is the thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands and other internal body structures. An adenoma has glandular characteristics and can grow from many different glandular organs such as the thyroid, prostate, pituitary gland, adrenal gland and others.

These benign tumors can be formed from the small intestine, the stomach, the colon, salivary and sebaceous glands. While it is possible for benign adenomas to become cancerous, it is atypical and most adenomas remain benign. But even benign adenomas possess the potential to create health problems by putting pressure on internal systems and producing large amounts of unregulated hormones. Even adenomas that are too small to be detected by sight can still clause clinical symptoms to occur.

Here at GI North, gastroenterologists Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano are highly experienced in routinely removing adenomas or adenomatous polyps from the colon during colonoscopy procedures and deciding on a course of treatment. Since common adenomas develop at rates that are predictable, the most common response to them is to remove them with surgery and regularly monitor the patient for any indication of further growths.

The ADR (adenoma detection rate) in colonoscopies has become increasingly important, since these routine procedures are used to remove both benign adenomas and more suspicious growths. It’s difficult to find current statistics pertaining to the results of detecting and removing adenomas during colonoscopies. But there are some numbers and facts that provide important information to you and your physicians about colonoscopies and adenomas.

The ADR is the percentage of patients over 50 years old who are undergoing a colonoscopy screening test for the first time and who have one or more adenomas found and removed during the procedure. Colorectal cancer will be present in approximately 5% of adenomas removed from the colon. Size is a reliable indicator of potential problems, since adenomatous polyps that are smaller than one centimeter (between 1/3 and 1/2 inch) have just over a 1% chance of being malignant, while adenomas over 2cm (slightly over ¾”) have up to 40% chance of being found malignant. According to a Cleveland Clinic study published in 2004, almost 40% of Americans 50 years and older harbor adenomatous polyps, but it is estimated that only 2% of adenomas will progress to cancer.

GI North is located in Cumming, GA, and serves the entire area including Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Alpharetta, Suwanee, Canton, Duluth, and Johns Creek. Dr. Simon Cofrancesco, Dr. Sergio Quijano, and their staff are committed to providing the best care possible to their patients. Dr. Quijano is fluent in Spanish, which helps makes the practice accessible to many residents of north Georgia.

Here at GI North, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the most up-to-date tests and treatments for adenomas and accompanying issues. Anyone should feel confident here, knowing that they will be treated not only with the latest technological advancements, but with caring, personalized attention from the doctors and the staff.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

medical illustration of a Hiatus Hernia | GI North | Cumming, GOne of the most overlooked causes of discomfort and pain is a hiatal hernia. This is because the symptoms are similar to other health ailments. The condition induces a variety of symptoms like indigestion, bloating, acid reflux, pains in the chest and abdominal gas. However, other reasons for these same complaints can be caused by enzyme problems and/or ones diet.

In addition, hiatal hernias do not always show any symptoms, especially if they are small in size. Nevertheless, large ones can show numerous signs like belching, heartburn and chest pain. What is more, it is more common for people who smoke, are overweight or over the age of 50 to get a hiatal hernia. However, it is not unheard of for children to be born with it (congenital). In fact, according to Medline Plus, hiatal hernias often happen with gastroesophageal reflux in infants.

Possible Causes

The precise cause of hiatal hernias is still unknown. However, the condition generally occurs when the stomach bulges through the diaphragm due to weakened muscle tissues. As well, the condition may cause a backflow (reflux) of gastric acid from the stomach to enter the esophagus. In result, many of the symptoms start arising.
In addition, many specialists believe that a hiatal hernia can be caused by other factors such as:

  • Injury to the surrounding area
  • Being born with an abnormally large hiatus
  • Intense and constant pressure on the surrounding muscles like when you cough; lift heavy objects, strain during a bowel movement or vomit.

Different Types

There are various types of hiatal hernias that can range in severity. The most common type is sliding hiatal hernias. In fact, in accordance to Medicine Net, this type accounts for 95% of all hiatal hernias. But, it is not known how often the condition occurs in the general population. With this type, a part of the stomach and the GE junction slide upwards in the space between the lungs and the chest known as the mediastinum. Additionally, this type of hernia is more bulbous during stimulus or when there is action such as the diaphragm contracting and descending or when the esophagus is shortened during swallowing.

Another type of hiatal hernias is the paraesophageal hernia. This type of hernia is quite uncommon. It generally occurs when the gap in the phrenoesophageal membrane is bigger. As well, a large part of the stomach herniates into the chest beside the esophagus and remains there. However, the GE junction stays below the diaphragm.

In a paraesophageal hernia, the space within the phrenoesophageal membrane is larger than normal. In addition, the GE junction is still below the diaphragm but much of the stomach herniates into the chest alongside the esophagus and stays there.

Additionally, both sliding and paraesophageal hiatal hernias can occur in combination. This is when diaphragm becomes bigger and the GE junction and more of the stomach herniates and shifts into the chest.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you suspect that you have a hiatal hernia, if you have prolonged or new symptoms, it is best to seek professional advice. At GI North, gastroenterologists Dr. Cofrancesco, Dr. Quijano and their professional staff are committed to providing all patients with outstanding care. Together, each physician brings years of experience, specializing in the diagnoses and treatment of digestive issues. As well, Dr. Quijano speaks fluent Spanish. And for your convenience, GI North serves Cumming as well as the surrounding areas of Alpharetta, Canton, Dahlonega, Duluth and Canton, Dawsonville, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell and Suwanee.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

Chronic digestive problems can be caused by infection, stress, bacteria in food and medications. But the bottom line is if you suffer from upset stomach, gas and sudden attacks of diarrhea, if you feel like your entire life is scheduled around the proximity of bathrooms, it’s time to have a doctor evaluate you and recommend a course of treatment to help you reduce or get rid of the problem.

What You Eat

Keep a daily journal that lists the food, beverages and medications you take every day and record any reaction you notice. If you’re like most people, it won’t take long to hone in on the culprits. Some of the most common triggers are spicy foods, fried foods, beans, dairy products, coffee and citrus fruits.

How You Eat

Make sure you are eating a balanced diet. Focus on making your portions smaller, and eat five or six small meals daily instead of eating three big meals a day, which can cause cramping and bowel contractions. Increase fiber intake, but start slowly and build up because too much fiber can actually cause digestive issues.

Managing Stress

To help manage the anxiety and stress that contribute to digestive problems, try meditation or tai chi, gardening, walking and deep breathing. If there’s a situation that you are having real trouble with, talk to a therapist.

Prevention Magazine explains, “When the brain detects any kind of threat—whether an impending layoff or a dustup with your spouse—it shoots stress hormones to your gut. Sensory nerves there respond by adjusting acid secretion and shutting down both appetite and digestion—a throwback to more dangerous times in our past. . . The result may be a nagging stomachache or a full-blown bout of GI distress.”

Stay Hydrated

We all know water is good for us, and staying hydrated is necessary for all parts of your system including normal bowel function. Diarrhea can dehydrate the body badly, so if you are struck with a bout, be sure to replenish your body with water or sports drinks with electrolytes. Avoid caffeine and alcohol; if you are traveling, use bottled water only for drinking and brushing your teeth and try to avoid raw vegetables and fruit which has been rinsed in tap water and tea or coffee that has been made with it.

Be Prepared

Reduce your anxiety by being prepared for an emergency. Pack small travel bags with stomach soothing medication, wipes, extra underwear, and plastic bags for disposal. Keep one at home, one in the car, one at work or school, etc.

Digestive problems are more common than you may think, so if your life is being ruled by your digestive tract, it might be time to make an appointment with one of the gastroenterologists at GI North in Cumming, GA. GI North serves all of northern Georgia including Alpharetta, Suwanee, Roswell, Canton and beyond and specializes in diagnosing and treating digestive issues using the latest technological advances and treatment. Dr. Simon Cofrancesco, Dr. Sergio Quijano (who is fluent in Spanish) and the staff at GI North bring care, respect and a wealth of knowledge to these difficult problems.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

illustration showing good and bad bacteria in the colon | GI North

Although there are many different brands of colon cleanses on the market and most with natural ingredients, it does not necessarily mean it is a healthy thing to do.

Clean living is all the rage, and while watching what you put into your body can have positive outcomes, flushing your body out can create problems.

The Facts

Colon cleanses have been in practice for centuries, yet there are no studies that support any benefits.

There is no medical backing that toxins build up in the colon and need flushing. The body naturally rids itself of toxins through the bacteria in the colon, and the colon sheds its old cells every few days to avoid build-up. Furthermore, the liver and kidneys neutralize and filter toxins. And the mucus membranes located in the colon work to prevent toxins from entering the blood and bodily tissue.

There is no list of toxins that a cleanse eliminates; therefore, their function cannot be tested, and the benefit of flushing them out cannot be studied.

There is no regulation of the products used for a cleanse. And even though most cleanses contain all natural ingredients that does not make them safe or effective.

The Dangers

As with any medical process, there are risks involved with colon cleanses, and those risks increase greatly with frequency.

Common, Mild Side Effects

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach pain
  • Depletion of beneficial bacteria
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Potassium decrease


Less Common, Severe Side Effects

  • Bowel perforation
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney problems
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Liver toxicity
  • Coma
  • Death


High Risk Factors

  • Diverticulitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rectal or colon tumors
  • Heart disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Severe hemorrhoids
  • Kidney disease
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Recent bowel surgery
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

The Proven Alternatives

If you are interested in ridding your body of toxins, there are several lifestyle changes that can effectively detoxify your colon and the rest of your digestive system.

Eat Right. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, and make sure you wash them thoroughly. Also increase your soluble and insoluble fiber to 20-35 grams daily.

Hydrate. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your system functioning well.

Moderate. Alcohol and red meat should be consumed in moderation.

Quit Smoking. Tobacco has negative effects on the body and introduces unwanted toxins.

The Advice

While most doctors do not recommend colon cleanses, there are occasions when they are used medically. For example, patients undergoing a colonoscopy or patients suffering severe constipation, when other treatments have failed. When done, you should always consult your doctor, the equipment should be sterile, you should stay well hydrated, and any ingredients should be listed with their quantities.

If you are considering a cleanse or would like more information, the professionals at GI North are available to assist you. Dr. Cofranceso and Dr. Quijano, who speaks fluent Spanish, are both gastroenterologists, who specialize in digestive functions. Their office, GI North, is located in Cumming, GA, and they gladly serve the areas of Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

photo of a hand marking a calendar for a colonoscopy | GI North

Make sure to follow the recommended ages for screening tests. A colonoscopy checks the large intestine for polyps and cancer. This test also effectively removes any polyps that are found.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancers around. In fact, it is second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. Not only does it affect all ethnic and racial groups but also it is often found in people over 50 years old.

However, you can prevent colorectal cancer in numerous ways. One of the most important is to get screened regularly, especially once you reach the age of 50. This is because there really are no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer. This is why it is imperative to get screening so you can catch the cancer right away.

For increased awareness of this devastating cancer, March is now known as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Prevention

The majority of colorectal cancers start out as a polyp, which is a growth in the tissue that lines the inner surface of the rectum or colon. Polyps are generally either raised or flat and can grow with or without a stalk. Although most are not cancerous, the adenoma type polyp has a greater risk of becoming a cancer. Therefore it is very important to have screening done on a regular basis if you are age 50 or older.

Types of Screening

Screening is a big part of colorectal cancer awareness. For the most part, there are various types of screening. Each type of screening has different routines and ways of testing.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy checks the large intestine for polyps and cancer. This test effectively removes any polyps that are found. Generally, the test takes about three hours and requires the patient be sedated. Hence, there needs to be a designated driver to help the patient home.

Hemoccult or High-Sensitivity Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBT)

If you are 50 years of age or older, your doctor may recommend that you have an FOBT test once a year. Since polyps and colorectal cancers, an FOBT test can check for tiny amounts of blood in feces (stool) that is not normally seen. Research claims that if the gFOBT is done every 1 to 2 years in people aged 50 to 80 years, it can lower the number of deaths due to colorectal cancer by 15 to 33 percent.

At present, there are two types of FOBT tests that screens for colorectal cancer: fecal immunochemical (or immunohistochemical) test (FIT or iFOBT) and guaiac FOBT (gFOBT). With both types of FOBT, feces samples are tested:

iFOBT – To detect human hemoglobin, antibodies are used. Generally, there are not dietary restrictions for testing.

gFOBT – chemicals are used to detect heme, an element of hemoglobin (a blood protein). Since certain foods contain heme (e.g., red meat), the diet is restricted prior to the test.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Similar to a colonoscopy except that only the lower part of the large intestine and the rectum are examined with a sigmoidoscope. Typically, the test only takes a few minutes. Also, the lower colon needs to be cleared of stool before the test.

Regular Screening

The best prevention of colorectal cancer is regular screening. At GI North, their professional practice offers innovative experience and focused care in the treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer. As well, Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano at GI North service the north metro Atlanta communities such as Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Duluth, Alpharetta, John’s Creek, Suwanee and Milton, GA. And if you would like a Spanish-speaking physician, you can request an appointment with Dr. Quijano.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

photo of man holding his chest | GI North

If you are unsure what is causing your heartburn, keep a diary and track your food and behavior to find patterns.

Heartburn or acid reflux is a common occurrence for most Americans, and whether it is a minor annoyance or affects your daily activities, there are several usual causes that you can cure with lifestyle changes.

Defining the Problem

Heartburn is a reaction from stomach acid entering the esophagus when the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) does not function properly. This valve keeps acid in the stomach and opens to allow food in or gas out, but if it opens too often or doesn’t close tight enough, you can experience a burning sensation in your lower chest or throat.

Usual Causes

Food. Most occasional sufferers notice a correlation to the food they eat. While any food can affect people differently, there are a few foods that are more likely to cause irritation.

  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruit and orange juice
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Spicy food
  • Black pepper
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, soda)
  • Alcohol


Additionally, any meals high in fat and oil can have a negative effect, and meal size is a major factor. Regardless of what you are eating, eating before bed or lying down and eating large meals are the most common causes.

Behavior and Emotion. Unfortunately, like your eating habits, your other daily habits and your emotional state can affect your suffering. Smoking is a major contributing factor to acid reflux as well as stress and a lack of sleep. Additionally, exercise can aggravate the LES.

Conditions. Other reasons you may suffer are due to medical conditions.


Medications. Unfortunately, more often than naught, medicine designed to help one condition causes undesirable side effects. Common medicines that can cause acid reflux include:

  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Sedatives
  • Narcotics
  • Progesterone
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Osteoporosis medication
  • Supplements, especially iron and potassium

Treatments and Cures

Lifestyle changes can cure or lessen the majority of cases.

  • Eat small, more frequent meals
  • Avoid problem foods
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid eating before bed
  • Elevate your upper body while sleeping
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Change exercise habits (avoid pressure on abs, bending over, jostling exercises, and exercising on a full stomach)


If you are unsure what causes your suffering, keep a diary tracking your food and behavior to find patterns. Usually, doctors prescribe prescription medicine to treat acid reflux.

Some chronic suffers may have more serious conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), ulcers, scarring, stricture, or Barrett’s Esophagus. You should see a doctor if you suffer more than two times a week, over-the-counter medicines don’t help, you have difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, black stools, or weight loss.

Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano at GI North can help diagnosis and treat your heartburn and other stomach problems. As certified gastroenterologists, they are uniquely qualified to provide you with quality, personalized care. Dr. Quijano even speaks fluent Spanish to better assist all the patients at GI North. Conveniently located in Cumming, GA, GI North serves the areas of Roswell, Alpharetta, Canton, and Suwanee. Contact us today and stop suffering.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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