Normal Heartburn or GERD?

Acid reflux is a serious disorder that can and must be treated to prevent symptoms and stave off potentially life-threatening consequences. Known medically and commercially as GERD, the acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease, repeated bathing of the soft tissues of the esophagus with corrosive stomach acid can seriously damage them and even cause esophageal cancer, which is often fatal.

Acid reflux is more than just a nuisance. It involves the backward flow of stomach acid into the tissues above it. It results when the lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, fails to close tightly enough to prevent the contents of the stomach from moving up instead of down. Sometimes the upper sphincter, between the esophagus and the throat, malfunctions as well.

Contrary to what many believe, heartburn is but one of the many symptoms of GERD, and failure to recognize the others when heartburn is not among them can result in harmful untreated reflux. In addition to indigestion, GERD can cause:

  • persistent dry cough
  • sore throat
  • frequent throat clearing
  • hoarseness
  • burping or hiccups
  • bloating
  • difficulty swallowing
  • a sensation of a lump in the throat

If, when faced with such an otherwise unexplainable symptom, your doctor fails to thinkhand holding stethoscope with GERD word. medical concept of GERD as a possible reason, you might suggest it yourself. An examination of the esophagus may be the only way to find out if someone without obvious heartburn has acid reflux but doesn’t know it.

One characteristic often associated with acid reflux — being overweight, especially with abdominal obesity — largely explains why the condition has become so common in Western countries. Someone with a body mass index in the overweight range is almost twice as likely to have GERD as a person of normal weight. Losing weight is one of the best ways to find relief without having to rely on medication. Other ways to relieve GERD symptoms include:

  • quitting smoking
  • limiting alcohol
  • avoiding carbonated drinks
  • eating five or six small meals a day rather than one or two big ones
  • avoiding eating within three hours of bedtime
  • Raising the head of the bed by six inches or more

If you suffer from GERD and are looking for treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. Among other procedures, Dr. Tsuda specializes in a revolutionary treatment for GERD called LINX. Find out if it’s right for you.

 

What you Need to Know about Protein

You probably know you need to eat protein, but what is it and where exactly do you find it? The answer is – everywhere – if you’re talking about the body. Proteins make up about 42% of the dry weight of our bodies. The protein collagen—which holds our skin, tendons, muscles, and bones together—makes up about a quarter of the body’s total protein. Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system are made up mostly of protein. All of our cells and even blood are packed with protein molecules.

Proteins, along with fats and carbohydrates, are the macronutrients that form the basis of our diets. Once consumed, some people associate protein only with helping to build muscle, but keep in mind that’s not all it does for us. In our bodies, protein performs a range of duties, from building new cells to regulating metabolism to helping cells communicate. Proteins help shuttle oxygen throughout the body in the form of hemoglobin, as well as build muscle.

When you eat foods that contain protein, the digestive juices in your stomach and intestine go to work. They break down the protein in food into basic units, called amino acids. The amino acids then can be reused to make the proteins your body needs to maintain muscles, bones, blood, and body organs.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Our DNA directs the body to join various combinations of amino acids into a variety of sequences and three-dimensional shapes for an arsenal of over 2 million different proteins, each serving a unique function. Our bodies can make some of these amino acids, but there are nine that are considered “essential amino acids” because we must consume these through our diet.

Many foods contain protein, but the best sources are:

  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • legumes like black beans and lentils

While our bodies can store fats and carbohydrates to draw on when needed, we do not have a storage pool of amino acids. We need a fresh source each day in order to build the body proteins we need. If the body is missing a particular amino acid to form the protein it needs, it will pull that amino acid by breaking down existing muscle protein. If we consistently lack certain amino acids we will lose muscle weight, energy and, eventually, fundamental functions.

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight and health. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein for the healthy individual is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 3 to 4 grams per 10 pounds, and two to three servings of protein-rich food will meet the daily needs of most adults. Athlete’s protein intake recommendations may be higher.

The good news is that you don’t have to eat all the essential amino acids in every meal. As long as you have a variety of protein sources throughout the day, your body will grab what it needs from each meal.

You can look at a food label to find out how many protein grams are in a serving, but if you’re eating a balanced diet, you don’t need to keep track of it. It’s pretty easy to get enough protein.

*Dr. Shawn Tsuda is a General Surgeon specializing in robotic bariatric surgery. Schedule a consultation to learn more.
gabel mit verschieden Proteinen

Heartburn or GERD – It makes a Difference

Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents moves backward into the esophagus. It’s also called acid regurgitation or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Acid reflux is a common digestive condition. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million Americans experience acid reflux at least once a month. More than 15 million Americans experience it every day.

Acid reflux usually causes a burning sensation in the chest. The sensation radiates up from the stomach to the mid-chest or throat. This is also known as heartburn. When symptoms that seem like heartburn persist, it could be a disease with more serious consequences. Chronic reflux can sometimes lead to difficulty swallowing and in some cases it can even cause breathing problems like asthma.

Acid reflux is caused when the muscle at the end of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is faulty or weak. The LES is a one-way valve that normally opens for limited amounts of time when you swallow. Acid reflux occurs when the LES doesn’t close properly or tightly enough. A faulty or weakened LES allows digestive juices and stomach contents to rise back up into the esophagus.

Large meals that cause the stomach to stretch a lot can temporarily loosen the LES. Other factors associated with reflux include:

  • obesity
  • stress
  • hiatal hernia (when part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm)
  • consuming particular foods (particularly carbonated beverages, coffee, and chocolate)

Most people experience occasional acid reflux or GERD. However, in some cases the digestive condition is chronic.

Acid reflux can affect infants and children as well as adults. Children under 12 usually don’t experience heartburn. Instead they have alternative symptoms like:

  • trouble swallowing
  • dry cough
  • asthma
  • laryngitis (loss of voice)

These alternative symptoms can also appear in adults.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease. It’s the more serious form of GERD and can eventually cause more serious health problems if left untreated. Acid reflux that occurs more than twice a week and causes inflammation of the esophagus is considered to be GERD.

Most people with GERD experience symptoms such as:

  • heartburn
  • regurgitation
  • trouble swallowing
  • a feeling of excessive fullness

Living with acid reflux is inconvenient. Fortunately, symptoms can generally be controlled through:

  • stopping smoking
  • reducing alcohol consumption
  • eating less fat
  • avoiding foods that set off attacks
  • losing weight
  • sleeping in different positions
  • antacids
  • anti-reflux medication
  • surgery

Most people with reflux will not have long-term health problems. However, GERD can increase the risk of Barrett’s esophagus. This is a permanent change in the lining of the esophagus which increases the risk of esophageal cancer.

If you suffer from GERD that isn’t responding to treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda to learn about LINX http://www.linxforlife.com/. This could be the answer you’ve been searching for.

Stethoscope on notebook and pencil with GERD (Gastroesophageal R

 

Your Chemical Romance

It’s no secret that many of us eat for emotional reasons, but did you know that research suggests that the brain circuit for eating overlaps with the brain circuit for interpersonal relationships? The neurobiology suggests that improving social relationships can actually help you lose weight. There may even be a few ways to trick the brain to achieve the same effect.

The neurotransmitter responsible for close, trusting relationships is oxytocin. Oxytocin is released by physical contact and supportive interactions with other people. Release of oxytocin increases feelings of trust and generosity. It also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

Amazingly, the act of eating actually releases oxytocin. In fact, eating releases oxytocin in dopamine rich brain areas, which helps explain why eating can be soothing and pleasurable. After all, part of the reason we’re drawn to emotional eating is that eating mimics the same feelings of comfort we get from close friends and family.

If you’re trying to lose weight, try boosting your oxytocin. Luckily, the best way to do that is to improve the quality and closeness of your relationships with family, friends, and significant others.

It seems like a simple suggestion, but unfortunately, problems with these relationships are often what triggers emotional eating in the first place. As a temporary measure — while you’re working on your relationships — here are a few ways to boost your oxytocin that don’t involve snacking:

  • Get a massage. Physical contact with another person is the surest way of boosting oxytocin. If you’re not in a relationship, it can be difficult to accomplish that. If you are in a relationship, then yes, your partner is a great source of oxytocin, but don’t rely on getting all your oxytocin from one person. Getting a massage releases large amounts of oxytocin, and will help you de-stress.
  • Say or do something nice for a friend. When other people trust and rely on you it boosts your oxytocin. Showing support for someone else helps that happen.
  • Pet a pet. Petting furry pets, whether it’s yours or someone else’s can help increase oxytocin. Part of it is their furry warmth, and part of it, particularly with dogs, is their trust in you. Being trusted helps increase oxytocin whether it’s a person or a dog.
  • Hug a friend. Ask a friend for a long hug, or ask them if they would like a hug. Hugs, particularly long ones, release oxytocin. In fact frequent hugging not only increases oxytocin, it also decreases blood pressure.
  • Have a conversation (in person or on the phone). The human voice can release oxytocin in ways that the written (or texted word) doesn’t.
  • Have a warm cup of tea while wrapped in a blanket. Physical warmth helps promote feelings of trust and generosity.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for ways to treat your obesity and the diseases that often accompany it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help you find the best treatment for your unique situation.

Happy group of diverse people, friends, family, team together

Instead of Making Yourself Over this Year Make Over your Resolutions

The new year is here, and if you are like many, many people you’ve made resolutions about how you’re going to lose weight, exercise regularly, and generally live a healthier lifestyle starting now. Of course, these are all noble goals; unfortunately the hordes of people who will be back to their old ways by the end of the month far outnumber those who keep true to their intentions.

Perhaps the top reason that well-meaning “resolution-ers” fail is that the goals they set for themselves are unrealistic and set up to fail from the beginning. This year, instead of making over yourself, here are some tips to makeover your resolutions. This year, resolve to be successful!

Old resolution: I am going to lose weight—somehow. Making list of New Year's resolutions
People often will just set a weight-loss goal, but they don’t have a good plan on how to get there. Without a detailed plan, you’re likely to go back to previous eating and exercise patterns.
Makeover: Set a goal that is specific, measurable, realistic, and trackable. Walk for 15 minutes three times a week or add a serving each of fruits and vegetables. Focus on changes that you can make a part of your lifestyle seamlessly, so you’ll be able to sustain them for the long term.

Old resolution: That’s it, no more chocolate—ever!
Banning your favorite treat—whether it’s chocolate, soda, lattes, or french fries– is bound to backfire. Dieters often eat it, binge on it, feel bad, and then throw in the towel and revert back to their old eating patterns.
Makeover: Make peace with your trigger foods. Don’t have them at home staring you in the face, but allow yourself to have them once or twice a week.

Old resolution: Those holiday parties went straight to my hips. I’m going to have to starve
myself to undo the damage.
Too often when somebody says diet, they’re thinking deprivation. If your weight loss plan feels like a drag, you’re going to feel punished and abandon it.
Makeover: Rejoice in the lifelong health benefits you’ll be creating instead of getting down about dieting. Losing weight becomes easy when you invest your mental energy in making positive, healthy changes for yourself.

Drastic resolutions are simply not realistic. You’ll just get discouraged and give up. Instead, make some basic alterations to your lifestyle. These changes don’t all have to happen at once, but changes in what you eat, when you eat it, and how much you move your body will ultimately cause you to lose the weight. People who aren’t willing to change their lifestyle will never be successful with weight loss.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are ready to change your lifestyle and do what it takes to finally be successful with weight loss, schedule an appointment with Dr, Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help find the right treatment for you.

 

 

Tips for Staying on Track with Health Goals during the Holidays

Between all of the special foods, doing our best to put others before ourselves, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we can easily go off track in regards to our health and fitness goals. Consider the following to help during the rest of this holiday season.

  • Nobody’s perfect.
    With all the shopping needs and other time obligations, you are bound to miss a workout here and there, and that is okay. We don’t expect perfection with other areas of our life, and exercise is no different. Just make sure you get the next one!
  • Commit to two or three of your favorite holiday treats.
    List your favorites, and you are more likely to stick to those.
  • Plan ahead and create time.
    Instead of dwelling on the obstacles faced during the holiday season and what you can’t do, focus on what you can do, and find solutions to help keep you on track. Just as you would plan your time spent with your family, plan to incorporate your exercise as well. Even exercising as little as ten minutes sporadically throughout the day has been shown to be better than no exercise at all.
  • Be realistic.
    Keep in mind that having a realistic view about your situation and abilities is key to overcoming any pressure that you may be putting on yourself during this busy time of year. Be honest and know your limitations.
  • Make exercise a family affair.
    Quality time with family during the holiday season is often spent with too much food and too much sitting around. Exercise tends to take a backseat to yearly family traditions. Instead of taking a complete break during the holidays, reinvent some of those traditions and make exercise more of a family affair. Maybe go for a family walk around the neighborhood and look at the holiday decorations, suggest a game of backyard football or even a holiday-themed dance party.

You might not be able to stick to your holiday plan 100%. However, celebrating small victories can help you stay inspired and get you back on track to your routine for the new year as soon as possible! Dr. Tsuda and his team wish you a very Happy New Year full of health and fitness. Schedule an appointment to learn how we can help.

Digital scales with female feet on them and sign"no!" surrounded by Christmas decorations and glass of vermouth. Shows how alcohol and unhealthy lifestyle during xmas holidays effect our body.

The Skinny on Diet and Nutrition Myths

False news is a popular topic these days, but it’s really nothing new. We’ve been inundated with “information” that is so far from accurate about so many things, and among them, diet and nutrition just might be the most myth-filled subject of all. Here are some truths to help you make healthy decisions:

Myth: Grain products such as bread, pasta, and rice are fattening. I should avoid them when trying to lose weight.

Fact: A grain product is any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include brown rice and whole-wheat bread, cereal, and pasta. Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.

People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet may lower their chances of developing some chronic diseases. Government dietary guidelines advise making half your grains whole grains. For example, choose 100 percent whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, and brown rice instead of white rice.

Myth: “Low-fat” or “fat-free” means no calories.

Fact: A serving of low-fat or fat-free food may be lower in calories than a serving of the full-fat product, but many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods—or even more calories. These foods may contain added flour, salt, starch, or sugar to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed. These items add calories.

Bread nutrition factsMyth: Eating healthy food costs too much.

Fact: Eating better does not have to cost a lot of money. Many people think that fresh foods are healthier than canned or frozen ones. For example, some people think that fresh spinach is better for you than frozen or canned. However, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables provide as many nutrients as fresh ones, at a lower cost. Healthy options include low-salt canned veggies and fruit canned in its own juice or water-packed. Remember to rinse canned veggies to remove excess salt. Also, some canned seafood, like tuna, is easy to keep on the shelf, healthy, and low-cost. Canned, dried, or frozen beans, lentils, and peas are also healthy sources of protein that are easy on the wallet.

The bottom line: To lose weight, reduce the number of calories you take in and increase the amount of physical activity you do each day. Create and follow a healthy eating plan that replaces less healthy options with a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and low-fat dairy:

  • Eat a mix of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
  • Limit added sugars, cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat.
  • Eat low-fat protein: beans, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts, and poultry.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for treatment for obesity and the health issues related to it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team can help you find the right treatment for you.