Gaining a Better Understanding of Acid Reflux in 2015

Gaining a Better Understanding of Acid Reflux in 2015


Every year, research provides patients and doctors with a more comprehensive understanding of a variety of medical issues.  We often find ourselves paying close attention to new findings in some of the most serious and debilitating conditions like Alzheimer’s and cancer.  However, there is also continuous research dedicated to heartburn and acid reflux.  After all, the more serious it gets, the greater chance it can lead to esophageal cancer.

Here are some of the more recent reports that have been shared this year:

New device to help monitor conditions like GERD
The University of Colorado and EnteroTrack, LLC have initiated a license agreement centered around a device that effectively monitors the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This agreement will allow EnteroTrack to develop and market a capsule that will provide an easier and more cost-effective way to gather esophageal analysis.  The idea behind this non-evasive device came from the difficulties surrounding the challenges of pinpointing inflammation, often resulting in patients having to undergo an endoscopy.

Popular heartburn medications could lead to a higher risk of heart attack

Stanford Researchers participated in a data mining study that appeared to link an increase in heart attack probability with those who take common PPI drugs like Prilosec.  This research pulled specific information from 16 million clinical records of about 3 million people in the U.S., and they concluded that people with gastrointestinal reflux disease (and took PPIs) were 16-21 percent more likely to have a heart attack than others.

Antacids may increase the probability of bone fractures
The Forsyth Institute has published new findings about the link between antacid medication and bone structure.  The findings point to stomach acids in the gastrointestinal tract that help absorb and distribute calcium in bones in the body.  PPI drugs obviously reduce such acids, which could slow down and perhaps even cease the absorption of calcium.

Genomic testing helps detect esophageal cancer risk
The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics has recommended a specific test that utilizes next-generation sequencing (NGS) to improve early cancer detection in patients with Barrett’s esophagus.  They point out that BE patients are strongly encouraged to seek regular cancer screenings, but those examinations often miss the warning signs for cancers.

Data confirms the effectiveness of the TIF Procedure (over PPI usage)
The very first random, blinded, sham-and placebo-controlled study of the Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) procedure produced some significant results.  The results are featured in the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute and compare results from two sets of patients – one that underwent the TIF procedure, plus placebo medication, and another group that had sham surgery and took ongoing doses of PPIs.  More than half of the TIF patients said their regurgitation issues had ceased.

We’re very aware of the benefits of the TIF Procedure, and studies like these reinforce our own data.  If we can provide you with relief from heartburn/acid reflux disease, contact Houston Heartburn today.