Acid Reflux and Turkey

Thanksgiving is the annual day of gluttony. We gather ’round the table with family and friends and then proceed to gorge ourselves on a mix of delicious turkey, buttery breads, smothered potatoes laden with sour cream, chives, more butter and possibly gravy. Mix in cranberries, alcoholic drinks and sodas, plus a few helpings of pumpkin and apple pie and you have a recipe for a long afternoon nap.

And yes, if you’re an acid reflux sufferer, a long afternoon of heartburn.

Acid reflux is more common than you might expect. Estimates peg the number of acid reflux sufferers at approximately 60 million in the United States alone. In Utah, we see plenty of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease sufferers. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center diagnoses and treats acid reflux patients daily.

If you count yourself among the sufferers, chances are you view Thanksgiving and other large holiday meals with a mix of excitement and angst. You love the food; the food simply doesn’t love you back. A big meal often results in indigestion, heartburn, feelings of bloating and general discomfort.

Read: The Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
Fortunately, the hero of Thanksgiving day, your old friend turkey, is actually quite easy on most people’s stomachs and is a good substitute for beef in many dishes. That’s largely due to the lower fat content of turkey compared to beef.

But turkey tastes great, too, which is why we recommend acid reflux sufferers experiment with turkey recipes in order to find a few favorites. If you’re ready to adjust your diet, try a few of these turkey recipes including mushroom and cheese turkey burgers, turkey meatballs and spaghetti and turkey tetrazinni.

Many restaurants are starting to offer turkey as a substitute for beef. For instance, Carl’s Jr. is famous for their beef burgers. But look closely at their menu and you’ll find tasty concoctions like a Turkey Guacamole Burger or a Turkey Terriyaki Burger. We’ve sampled both and they’re tasty and lighter than the traditional burger. Add a low-fat cheese and you have a tasty concoction literally in your hands. But stay away from the fries since greasy french fries are a common trigger for heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

Read: 11 Foods that Trigger Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Enjoy the annual rite of turkey day and enjoy yourself. But think wisely about what you should and shouldn’t eat if you want to enjoy the afternoon’s football game in peace instead of heartburn pain. And stay away from the pizza. Your body will thank you later.

Of course, in Utah, our ear, nose and throat doctors in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah can help you learn more about treatment options for acid reflux disease. Call us at 801-328-2522.

young girl with croup cough

What is Croup? 5 Fast Facts about Croup

It’s a sound every parent dreads: your child suddenly starts to bark like a seal. Yes, a seal.

The culprit is croup and it creates a sharp cough that is caused by a swollen airway. In many cases, as croup gets worse, the airway gets tighter and breathing and the cough gets heavier.

In Utah, croup is common. In fact, KSL News recently ran a story in mid-September that croup was making a comeback even as summer ends. It’s important to understand that croup is not just a winter sickness. And croup can sometimes be related to acid reflux disease, a condition we regularly treat at the Ear, Nose and Throat Center.

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center of Salt Lake City regularly sees young patients with croup symptoms. To help you understand croup, croup symptoms and how to treat croup, we’ve created these five fast facts about croup.

1. What is croup?

Croup is caused by an infection that results in inflammation of the windpipe and a barking cough. The cough is distinctive and is often described as similar to the sound of a barking seal. You can expect a child’s croupy cough to sound much different from their regular cough.

Listen to a doctor demonstrate a croup cough


2. What Are the Symptoms of Croup?

Utah croup patients typically first manifest common cold symptoms. Their nose may be runny. Their throat may hurt. After two to three days of common cold symptoms, however, the barking cough begins. At this point, children often breathe noisily while inhaling. This is called stridor and severe croup can cause both difficulty breathing and rapid breathing. Watch the video below to hear a young child with stridor.

Listen to a baby with stridor

Occasionally, croup can cause narrowing of the windpipe, which results in severe difficulty breathing.  Croup is very common in children between 6 months and 4 years old.

3. Which Age Group is at Risk for Croup?

Croup is very common in Utah children between the ages of 6 months and four-years old. However, children as old as 9 or 10 years old can also exhibit croup-like symptoms. In many cases, these older children with chronic croup may suffer from acid reflux problems. We’ll cover this condition in greater detail below.

4. How Should I Treat Croup?

Most cases of croup resolve without treatment within 7 days. However, croup often strikes at night and strikes fear into parents who understandably wonder if their child may suddenly stop breathing. Fortunately, it’s possible to treat the croup symptoms at home and, at the very least, improve breathing before you visit a doctor or an emergency room.

Liquids are always a good idea. You can offer your child cold drinks, Popsicles, even ice. Whatever helps keep them hydrated. During cold winter nights, you can take a child outside and the cold air will often reduce inflammation in the throat. If the weather is not cold outside, you will want to humidify a room using either a humidifier or running a hot shower in a bathroom to create steam. Close the door, let the room fill with mist, and hold your child as their breathing improves.

5. How Does an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor Treat Croup?

In Utah’s dry air, our Ear, Nose and Throat doctors recommend the use of humidifiers to add moisture in the child’s bedroom or in other rooms in your home. We also use a cool mist nebulizer, which is a machine that allows medication to be inhaled directly into the lungs as a mist. Other treatment options include epinephrine treatments and oral corticosteroids. We also may recommend acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medicines to help reduce fever in sick kids.

It’s important to note that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are not helpful in treating croup.

Chronic Croup May be Triggered by Acid Reflux Disease

While croup is typically treated and cured within a week, some children exhibit chronic croup. A study by the University of Utah reveals that children who have continuing recurrence of croup could be suffering from stomach acid reflux problems.

The Ear, Nose and Throat center specializes in treating acid reflux disease and can help you pinpoint acid reflux symptoms. We also recommend you read about 11 foods that trigger acid reflux disease and heartburm. We can also help diagnose and treat croup.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 to learn more.

Man holding chest due to heartburn and acid reflux disease

Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease

Do you suffer from heartburn? Do you regularly notice a burning feeling or tightness in your chest following eating?

You may suffer from acid reflux disease, which is also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It’s a common problem in Utah and across the United States. In fact, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn each month.

According to Dr. John Bennett, an ENT doctor in Salt Lake City, Utah, “The most common symptom of acid reflux is actually a vague sensation of fullness in the throat, from the swelling around the voice box that the refluxed acid can cause. Reflux is often perceived as post-nasal drip.”

We’ve listed 6 symptoms of acid reflux disease below. These symptoms can be short-lived or last for several hours or even days. The good news is that you can quickly relieve and eliminate acid reflux symptoms by eating over-the counter antacid tablets like Tums, Rolaids, and generic store brands. Prescription medicines like Pepcid, Tagament and Zantac can also provide relief.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

  • Heartburn. A burning feeling in your chest that typically appears soon after eating. This is called heartburn or acid indigestion. Though heartburn may feel painful, it does not damage or affect your heart.
  • Regurgitation. That burning feeling in your chest is often accompanied by a burning sensation in the throat and/or a sour, acidic taste in your mouth. In some cases, you may vomit a small amount of stomach acid.
  • Difficulty swallowing. You may feel difficulty swallowing as you eat. You may have the sense that food is “sticking” in your throat or even a feeling of choking.
  • Hoarseness. Your voice may become hoarse and, in some cases, you may even lose your voice while you are symptomatic.
  • Dyspepsia. Some people who have acid reflux disease also suffer from a syndrome called dyspepsia, which is another term for indigestion. Dyspepsia symptoms include burping, stomach fullness and bloating.
  • Wheezing and/or asthma-like symptoms. Many people who suffer from asthma also suffer from acid reflux or GERD. The wheezing and coughing happens when stomach acid is aspirated from the esophagus to the lungs.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center to Treat Acid Reflux Disease

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center doctors regularly treat patients across Utah and the Wasatch Front who suffer from acid reflux disease, GERD, heartburn and indigestion. While acid reflux disease is a chronic condition, which means there is no cure, there are a number of dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your symptoms.

Click to learn how lifestyle changes and avoiding heartburn trigger foods can help you avoid reflux

Contact us today at 801-328-2522. And learn steps you can take to eliminate the symptoms of acid reflux disease from your life.

image of menue with heartburn, bloating, reflux

11 Foods That Trigger Heartburn and Acid Reflux Disease

Acid reflux disease or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a common problem in Utah and the United States. In fact, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn and acid reflux monthly.

If you’re suffering, you’re not alone.

What is Acid Reflux Disease or GERD?

Reflux, or GERD, occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. At the base of the esophagus is a ring of muscle that contracts to prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus. This muscle works well for most people. However, for people who suffer from acid reflux, the ring of muscle or the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly. As a result, acid enters the sensitive tissue within the esophagus and throat and creates a burning sensation. Most sufferers recognize this pain as heartburn.

In some cases, however, reflux can be silent. In other words, no symptoms appear until a problem arises.

“Only one-third of reflux sufferers have heartburn,” says Dr. John Bennett, an ENT doctor in Salt Lake City, Utah, “The other two-thirds have silent reflux, where throat fullness, throat clearing, coughing, and hoarseness are common.”

Learn about the symptoms of acid reflux disease

At the Ear, Nose and Throat Center, we see patients every day from Salt Lake City, Sandy and Draper, Utah who suffer from reflux, GERD or plain old heartburn. We’re here to help. But you can also help yourself avoid reflux and heartburn by becoming aware of foods that trigger or cause heartburn, reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Learn more about Gastroesphageal Reflux (GERD)

Foods That Trigger Reflux and Heartburn

Acid reflux is a chronic condition. That means there is no cure. Fortunately, reflux is fairly easy to manage through a mix of dietary changes and prescription medicines, if necessary.

“Modifying what you eat can be very helpful,” adds Dr. Bennett. “Watch out for spicy foods, but also acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus. Other culprits are greasy foods, milk-based foods, caffeine, chocolate, mint, as well as alcohol and tobacco.”

The following foods are known to trigger acid reflux:

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes)
  • Coffee
  • Fatty and fried food (french fries, fried chicken)
  • Fast food
  • Peppermint
  • Pizza
  • Spicy foods (tacos, curry)
  • Tomato sauces and juice

Lifestyle and Diet Changes to Help Avoid Reflux

  • Limit or avoid reflux trigger foods. A dietary diary can help you discover the foods that trigger reflux. Every patient is different and we can help you pinpoint problem foods.
  • Eat earlier in the evening. Eating early allows your stomach more time to digest food before you sleep. We also recommend you eat nothing at least three hours before sleeping.
  • Eat smaller portions. Eating too much can lead to indigestion and reflux. Eat less and feel better.
  • Lose weight. Even losing 5 pounds can improve reflux symptoms.
  • Raise the top of your mattress 4 to 6 inches. A flat mattress can trigger reflux while sleeping, so a small change in sleeping position can make a big difference.
  • Eliminate tobacco use. Smoking is bad for you in many ways. Stopping can help you avoid reflux as well as reduce your risk for many types of cancer. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center can help you stop smoking.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 to set an appointment. Our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah will work with you to diagnose and treat your acid reflux and heartburn symptoms and provide guidance on lifestyle and diet changes that can help you reduce the impact of acid reflux disease on your life.