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Heartburn and GERD: Treatment options for GERD

Typical symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn and acid reflux, can sometimes be relieved by changing your diet. Effective medications are also available. Surgery might be considered in some cases.Many people have heartburn every now and again after eating a large meal, and will be familiar with the unpleasant burning feeling in their chest, just behind their breastbone. Occasional acid reflux is normal too. But if you often experience acid reflux, have severe heartburn, and it is having a big effect on your everyday life, you may have what is known as “gastro-esophageal reflux disease”, or GERD for short. Reflux is where some of the contents of your stomach leak out and flow back into your food pipe because the entrance to your stomach doesn't close properly.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 18, 2015

Interventions for reducing difficulty in swallowing in people with oesophageal cancer

For most patients with unresectable or inoperable oesophageal cancer, providing clinical benefit with palliative treatment is highly desirable. However, the optimal palliative technique for dysphagia improvement and better quality of life is not established.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Palliative biliary stents for obstructing pancreatic cancer

The majority of patients with cancer of the pancreas are diagnosed only after blockage of the bile ducts has occurred. Surgical by‐pass (SBP) or endoscopic stenting (ES) of the blockage are the treatment options available for these patients. This review compares 29 randomised controlled trials that used surgical by‐pass, endoscopic metal stents or endoscopic plastic stents in patients with malignant bile duct obstruction. All included studies contained groups where cancer of the pancreas was the most common cause of bile duct obstruction. This review shows that endoscopic stents are preferable to surgery in palliation of malignant distal bile duct obstruction due to pancreatic cancer. The choice of metal or plastic stents depends on the expected survival of the patient; metal stents only differ from plastic stents in the risk of recurrent bile duct obstruction. Polyethylene stents and stainless‐steel alloy stents (Wallstent) are the most studied stents.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Gastro‐oesophageal reflux treatment for asthma in adults and children

People with asthma also often have gastro‐oesophageal reflux (where acid from the stomach comes back up the gullet (esophagus)). Reflux is very common in people with asthma. It may be a trigger for asthma, or alternatively, asthma may trigger reflux. Treatments that can help reflux include antacids and drugs to suppress stomach acids or empty the stomach. This review of trials found that using reflux treatments does not generally help ease asthma symptoms. While asthma may be improved in some people, it was not possible to predict who might benefit.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Medical treatments for eosinophilic esophagitis (a chronic disease associated with increased numbers of eosinophils in the esophagus and symptoms of esophagitis)

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is emerging globally as a significant cause of upper gastrointestinal disease in people with clinical symptoms of esophageal disease including a typical appearance of the esophagus and an increased number of eosinophil white blood cells when the esophagus is examined by an endoscope using high magnification.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Treatment of Barrett's oesophagus

One of the two main types of oesophageal (gullet) cancer, oesophageal adenocarcinoma, is rapidly increasing in incidence in the western world. The prognosis for patients treated for oesophageal adenocarcinoma is appalling with fewer than 15% of individuals surviving beyond five years. Barrett’s oesophagus has been identified as the pre‐cancerous stage of adenocarcinoma. It is recognised that Barrett's oesophagus develops as a complication of acid and bile reflux which commonly, but not inevitably, leads to heartburn symptoms. In response to these injurious agents, the normal squamous lining of the oesophagus is replaced by a columnar lining resembling the lining of the intestine. This intestinal subtype has the highest risk of malignancy and the term Barrett's oesophagus is used only for this subtype in many areas of the world, and in most research publications. Barrett's oesophagus can gradually progress to adenocarcinoma through a series of stages called dysplasia which can be identified in biopsies examined under the microscope.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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