“Alarm Symptoms :

Certain alarm symptoms may point to complications or life-threatening problems. Should you have any of these alarm-warning symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.

  • Chest pain with activity, such as climbing stairs.
  • Losing weight without trying.
  • Choking while eating or trouble swallowing food and liquids.
  • Throwing up blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Red or black stools.”

American Gastroenterological Association (aga)www.gastro.org


Part II How to stay healthy with acid reflux-GERD.

Understanding what GERD is, its causes, its symptoms, the effects it has on your body and the way your body responds to specific treatments is necessary to help you devise a plan with your activities of daily living, including diet, to help manage the condition. If you haven’t seen my Part 1 just click on it onto my webpage than read yesterday’s article part 1 than read this. All you can do is apply your own GERD diet experimentation to the suggestions of others and try available treatments until you find what works for you. Also, there are foods that have a reputation for being ‘safe’ (foods to avoid acid reflux) in most cases, as well as others that are known for being main contributors to acid reflux.

I recommend you go tohttp://www.gerd-diet.com which helps explain about foods and how they work with GERD. They do state the following:

Armoring Yourself with Patience and Willingness to Experiment (meaning this takes time in finding out what exacerbates your GERD and what helps it heal—Like an open wound, it takes time.) Sorry,There Is No One-Size-To-Fit-All With-A-GERD Diet (for relief or resolution)

Your Own Trigger Foods.
Given the complex nature of GERD, this one has to be added. I know it is repetitive, but everyone has certain foods that irritate their condition and causes severe symptoms. Make a list of these foods and avoid them in the future. This means make a journal for the next 2 weeks or more and see what caused your GERD symptoms to remember them with not eating fast which can cause GERD also (habit change).

GERD Diet FoodsA List of Food Groups and What Is Safe and Best to Avoid The following lists are comprised of foods that are typically known to be ‘safe’ or to ‘trigger’ symptoms.

Again, just because something is on the “avoid” list does not mean that you cannot eat it. Similarly, something appearing on the “safe” list does not guarantee that it will not cause a problem for you. This is simply provided as a guideline to give you a place to start and to make it easier for you design your own personal GERD diet.








FRUITS Apples (fresh and dried), apple juice, bananas, pears, peaches, melons, strawberries, grapes Oranges and orange juice, lemons and lemonade, grapefruit and grapefruit juice, tomato and tomato juice, cranberries and cranberry juice
VEGETABLES Baked potato, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green beans, peas, asparagus, lettuce, sweet potatoes Raw onions, peppers, radishes, french fries, mashed potatoes
MEAT Extra lean ground beef, steak (London Broil), skinless chicken breast, egg whites or substitute, fish (with no added fat), white turkey meat Fatty ground beef, marbled sirloin, chicken nuggets, buffalo wings, fried meat
DAIRY Feta or goat cheese, fat free cream cheese, fat free sour cream, low fat soy cheese Whole milk, chocolate milk, ice cream, high fat cream cheese or sour cream
GRAINS Cereal (bran or oatmeal), corn bread, graham crackers, pretzels, rice (brown or white), rice cakes, millet, quinoa High fat grain products (cheese bread or products made with whole milk)
BEVERAGES Water, herbal teas, non-citrus drinks, skimmed milk Caffeinated beverages, whole milk, alcohol, carbonated beverages
FATS/OILS/CONDIMENTS Low fat salad dressing, herbs ( basil, thyme, sage, oregano), hummus, mild sauces Mustard, chili sauces, creamy salad dressing, black pepper, vinegar, curries, pickles, mint


At this point, there is no alternative medicine therapies that have been accepted as proof for treatment(s) or 100% resolution for GERD.

However, like every other aspect of the disease, it really is an individual decision. Some people have reported natural remedies that have given amazing results with their GERD diet (healthier approach) while others find that prescription medications have little effect (meds can cause side effects temporary or permanently, depending on what it is).

GERD can be due obesity, lifestyle (unhealthy habits) and diet. **It is recommended to see an MD first before making any decision on your own in treatment with a combination of or just one of the following: meds, diet or even health habit changes, especially for those people with disease/illness (s) present (Ex. Diabetes, cardiac disease, etc…).** If you need help with your GERD in prevention or treatment, that is primary or secondary care, than stay on this webpage which can help you out with your healthy GERD plan.




Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD.

American Gastroenterological Association (aga)-www.gastro.org



How to stay healthy with acid reflux?  A GI disease that is caused by a valve located between the esophagus and stomach, which normally is a strong muscular ring of tissue.  This valve normally opens and closes completely preventing food backing up (called reflux) in the esophagus allowing the contents to reach the throat to the mouth.  With acid reflux, what happens is this valve gets over expanded frequently to the point the valve gets overstretched and no longer fits over the opening between the esophagus and the stomach with a tight fit.  Due to loss of the elasticity it now is allowing leakage from the stomach with both food and fluids going up the esophagus to the throat to the mouth due to the action of reflux, during the digestion process.  What happens during digestion the stomach contents with digestive fluids (which are acidic) are refluxed, that are not normally in the esophagus. In conclusion, reflux sends stomach contents that’s returning (an acidic environment) upward in the esophagus which is now in an environment not use to being exposed to the digestive fluids =acidity, which are needed to perform the digestion process of our foods/fluids that are in the stomach only.   This leakage of the valve is the cause of this problem occurring=GERD or gastrointestinal reflux.

When you don’t have GERD food and fluids when swallowed go down the esophagus to the valve where it opens letting the contents into the stomach, where digestion takes place in about 1-2 hours after eating. Normally the valve is tight enough in preventing reflux=no leakage (the primary purpose of its function).  This means during digestion the food gets into the stomach which is broken down into smaller particles by the digestive acid fluids allowing the nutrients to pass into the bloodstream with the waste products staying in the stomach but when stomach digestion is complete it passes all the waste products onto the smaller intestines to the larger intestines to the rectum to be evacuated, without leakage or reflux.

The signs and symptoms (s/s) of GERD or acid reflux:

1-Heartburn is the classic GERD symptom. It’s best described as a burning sensation in the chest and/or discomfort in the upper belly or abdomen accompanied by a feeling of fullness.  

2- Regurgitation is the involuntary return of partially digested food from the stomach into the mouth.  This uncomfortable symptom is commonly caused by GERD, since the esophageal sphincter (valve) is damaged to such a severe degree that the stomach juices (acidotic) can freely reflux to the level of the throat or mouth.

3-Pain present behind the sternum (chest pain) to the upper mid abdomen (where the stomach is).  If severe call your M.D. or doctor to have evaluated  (especially if in the chest).

4-Chronic cough to hoarseness  5-Recurrent pneumonias  6-Bloating 7-Nausea 8-Vomiting (yellow/green) 9-Lump in the throat 10-Difficulty swallowing 11-Chronic sore throat 12-Laryngitis 13-Post nasal drip 14-Ear Aches 15-Tooth decay or gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or bad breath this is due to the acid fluids with the foods and fluids regurgitated back to the mouth from the stomach.

Complications that are caused by GERD when left untreated:

1-Narrowing of the esophagus called esophageal stricture.  This is due to damage to cells in the lower esophageal from acid exposure that leads to scarring of the tissue.  The scar tissue narrows the food pathway causing difficulty to  swallow called dysphagia.    2-Esophagitis – inflammation of the esophagus.  This constant backwash of acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus. Over time, the inflammation can cause complications such as bleeding or breathing problems leading into esophagitis.

3-Esophageal Ulcers – Due to frequent exposure to acidic fluids and foods to the esophagus the mucosa gets irritated so bad it will even erode the mucosa causing skin ulceration.  The esophagus environment is not use to the stomach’s = acidic.  Take the outer skin of the body, if exposed long enough to acidic chemicals the skin will burn.  Same principle for the esophagus constantly  exposed to the environment of the stomach’s content of acidic fluids every time digestion takes place.

4-Precancerous changes to the esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus).  In Barrett’s esophagus, the color and composition of the tissue lining the lower esophagus change.  These changes are associated with risk of esophageal cancer.  The risk of cancer is low.  Cancer is rare but can happen (adenocarcinoma of the esophagus).

Risk factors=Conditions that increase the risk of GERD would include:   Obesity, Pregnancy, Smoking, Dry Mouth, Diabetes, Asthma, Connective Tissue Disorders like scleroderma, delayed stomach empting, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES)

(This is a rare disorder characterized by one or more tumors in the pancreas, duodenum, or both. The tumors cause the stomach to make too much acid, leading to peptic ulcers in the duodenum. The tumors are sometimes cancerous and spread to other areas of the body.).

The key to treatment is prevention but if already with the Dx: GERD than it would be maintenance.  There is no one answer but start with being checked by your physician if you have any symptoms indicative of this diagnosis.  Start with a getting a very good diagnostic tool ordered by your doctor called an Upper GI series (endoscopy) and when it’s done it will tell the M.D. a lot in what’s going on.  Then there is medications as a remedy, that can be useful, they are classified as proton pump inhibitors to H2 Inhibitors with more.  Another great key to the treatment is your LIFESTYLE=Diet (not eating acid foods, not eating fast), activity/exercise, your height compared to your weight (BMI or simply what you weigh) and lastly if you practice healthy vs. unhealthy habits.  If you would like to learn more about this come back tomorrow to my web page when I go further on the topic GERD (part 2) regarding the diet for the disease.



“From an epidemiological point of view, the definition of acute lower respiratory infections usually includes acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis, influenza and pneumonia.”

MAYO Clinic

Acute lower respiratory infections!


Acute lower respiratory infections are a leading cause of sickness and mortality both in children and adults worldwide. Unfortunately, acute lower respiratory infections are not uniformly defined and this may hamper a true appreciation of their epidemiological importance. From an epidemiological point of view, the definition of acute lower respiratory infections usually includes acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis, influenza and pneumonia.

Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), while often used as a synonym for pneumonia, can also be applied to other types of infection including lung abscess and acute bronchitis. Symptoms include shortness of breath, weakness, fever, coughing and fatigue.

There are a number of symptoms that are characteristic of lower respiratory tract infections. The two most common are bronchitis and edema

Acute bronchitis can be defined as an acute illness that occurs in a patient without chronic lung disease. Symptoms include cough (productive or otherwise) and other symptoms or clinical signs that suggest lower respiratory tract infection with no alternative explanation (e.g. sinusitis or asthma).

Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection and the most common cause of admission to hospital in the first 12 months of life.

Influenza affects both the upper and lower respiratory tracts.

Antibiotics are the first line treatment for pneumonia; however, they are not effective or indicated for parasitic or viral infections. Acute bronchitis typically resolves on its own with time.

“Stay away from me! I don’t want to get sick, too.” Most of us have had to utter those words to a family member, friend, or colleague who was sneezing or coughing incessantly. But how do we know how great the chances of catching someone’s cold or other illness really are? A medical review published in the New England Journal of Medicine tells us when to exercise concern over eight respiratory tract infections.


(Infectious agent)

How it gets transmitted

Places of highest risk

Percent risk of infection


(Respiratory Syncytial Virus, RSV)

Direct contact with ill person, large-droplets from coughs or sneezes, contact with tissues, linens, or other surfaces holding the virus Homes, day-care centers In day-care centers, 100% of exposed children become ill, previous infection somewhat lowers the risk

(Influenza viruses)

Direct contact with ill person, large- and tiny-droplets from coughs or sneezes Homes, schools, bars, dormitories, areas with poor ventilation or recirculated air 20%-60% from a family member, only half of those infected will have symptoms of influenza
The common cold


Direct contact with ill person, large-droplets from coughs or sneezes, contact with tissues, linens, or other surfaces holding the virus Homes, dormitories 66% from a family member
Tuberculosis Tiny-droplets from coughs or sneezes Homes, bars, dormitories, nursing homes, areas with poor ventilation 25%-50% with close contact with a person with active disease, prolonged exposure is usually required
Upper respiratory illness


Direct contact with ill person, large- and tiny-droplets from coughs or sneezes Camps, schools, military camps 10% of those exposed may become ill, 40% among children, many infected individuals show no symptoms and infection leads to immunity from future infection
Strep throat, scarlet fever

(Group A Strep)

Direct contact with ill person, large-droplets from coughs or sneezes Homes 10% from a family member
Bacterial meningitis

(Neisseria meningitides)

Direct contact with ill person, large-droplets from coughs or sneezes Homes, schools, camps 2%-3% for a child whose sibling has active illness, 0.2%-0.4% for household contacts of the ill child, more than 95% of the time a second case of the disease does not follow a first.
Pneumococcal pneumonia

(Streptococcus pneumoniae)

Direct contact with ill person, large-droplets from coughs or sneezes Day-care centers, homeless shelters, camps, prisons, nursing homes Generally not regarded as contagious, risk of infection depends on one’s general health

You can do a number of things to help prevent infection:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill with infections spread through large-droplets.
  • Unless ventilation is good, avoid shared space with people who are ill with infections spread through tiny-droplets.
  • Wash your hands after greeting someone with a viral infection or after handling an object held by someone infected with Bronchiolitis or a cold.
  • Encourage children to wash their hands. Kids are more likely than adults to spread infection within a family.




“July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, and believe it or not, nearly 300,000 children have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Arthritis doesn’t affect just older people, but also affects children as little as six months old! Juvenile arthritis comes in a variety of forms with varying life spans and symptoms.”

Bone and Joint Center

July Awareness to Juvenile Arthritis




Juvenile arthritis (JA) is not a disease in itself. Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, JA is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States.

Although the various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, each type of JA is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms

Types of Juvenile Arthritis

  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Considered the most common form of arthritis, JIA includes six subtypes: oligoarthritis, polyarthritis, systemic, enthesitis-related, juvenile psoriatic arthritis or undifferentiated.
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis. An inflammatory disease, juvenile dermatomyositis causes muscle weakness and a skin rash on the eyelids and knuckles. 
  • Juvenile lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. The most common form is systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood and other areas of the body. 
  • Juvenile scleroderma. Scleroderma, which literally means “hard skin,” describes a group of conditions that causes the skin to tighten and harden.
  • Kawasaki disease. This disease causes blood-vessel inflammation that can lead to heart complications. 
  • Mixed connective tissue disease. This disease may include features of arthritis, lupus dermatomyositis and scleroderma, and is associated with very high levels of a particular antinuclear antibody called anti-RNP. 
  • Fibromyalgia. This chronic pain syndrome is an arthritis-related condition, which can cause stiffness and aching, along with fatigue, disrupted sleep and other symptoms. More common in girls, fibromyalgia is seldom diagnosed before puberty. No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop JA. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition to juvenile arthritis, which means the combination of genes a child receives from his or her parents may cause the onset of JA when triggered by other factors.pain or stiffness when moving joints Swelling in the jointsUnfortunately it is not a simple one or two tests to diagnose. The diagnostic process can be long and detailed. There is no single blood test that confirms any type of JA. In children, the key to diagnosis is a careful physical exam, along with a thorough medical history.

How Juvenile Arthritis is diagnosed:

  • In the morning or after resting Warm or tender joints Limited range of motion (your child’s ability to move his or her joints)
  • Juvenile Arthritis symptoms:
  • Causes of these arthritis illnesses:

What is Juvenile Arthritis Treatment?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, although with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, remission is possible. The goal of treatment is to relieve inflammation, control pain and improve the child’s quality of life. Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating.

Juvenile Arthritis Self Care

An important part of JA treatment is teaching the child the importance of how to follow the treatment prescribed by the healthcare team. Self care also involves helping the child address the emotional and social effects of the disease. Self management encompasses the choices made each day to live well and stay healthy and happy.


“Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth. This blood is usually discarded. However, cord blood banking utilizes facilities to store and preserve a baby’s cord blood. If you are considering storing your baby’s cord blood, make sure to use a cord blood bank accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), like Viacord.”

American Pregnancy Association (americanpregnancy.org)

Cord Blood Banking


Cord Blood Awareness Month  is July

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion designates specific National Health Observances (NHO) dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics. Towards this goal, July has been declared “Cord Blood Awareness Month.” Although people benefit from cord blood banking every day, this NHO provides a special opportunity to highlight the significant contributions made through stem cell research, trials, and treatment.


Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most fascinating and revolutionary areas of biology today. To date, there are more than 80 diseases being treated with umbilical cord blood and tissue. The list of diseases that are treatable with cord blood include stem cell disorders, acute and chronic forms of leukemia, myeloproliferative disorders, and many more.

Clinical Trials

With a very promising future, clinical trials using cord blood stem cells are being conducted for neurological, cardiovascular, and auto-immune disorders. Some of the common diseases that have clinical trials in Phase 1 and Phase 2 include autism, cerebral palsy, and diabetes. There are also promising clinical trials for acquired hearing loss, pre-/peri-natal stroke, and traumatic brain injury.

Cord Blood BankingCord Blood Awareness Month

Cord blood banking provides a simple process of safely and securely storing the blood within your child’s umbilical cord, as well as the tissue from the cord itself. Parents have the option of banking their baby’s cord blood with a public cord blood bank or a private cord blood bank.

Public cord blood banking is free and will provide life-saving benefits to a family in need. Once you donate your cord blood, however, you no longer have rights to those stem cells. If your child or family member is in need of cord blood stem cells, there is no guarantee that you or children can use their own cells. With private cord blood banking, there are fees but you own the cells. Your full rights to use it are preserved, and it is always immediately available to you.

A Perfect Match

One of the key benefits of using a private cord blood bank is the ability to provide a perfect match, since your child will be getting their own cells. Cord blood banking is especially vital for minorities and those of mixed race, where matching can be difficult using other stem cells from bone marrow or circulatory blood. Certain diseases also either depend upon, or greatly benefit from, using your own (autologous) cells. Luckily, it is easy to bank umbilical cord blood with New England Cord Blood Bank during Cord Blood Awareness Month and all year round.