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NBC News: Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic Interview with Dr. Richard Isaacson

Posted by on Friday, December 12th, 2014

 

Next week, NBC Nightly News will air an interview about the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic with Dr. Richard Isaacson by Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic in the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program, at New York Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center, was the first program in the world to offer clinical care to help people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) reduce their risk.

 

NBC News Alzheimers Prevention Clinic Dr. Isaacson

 There have been significant advances in the field of AD prevention, so much so that even a new scientific journal called the Journal of the Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease began publication in 2014. For more information on the clinic, read the clinic brochure, or to schedule an appointment call 212-746-0226. The segment will highlight the story of Max Lugavere, a 30-something year old patient in the clinic, who’s Mom developed cognitive impairment in her 50s.  The story reviews the power of music and other lifestyle choices, especially an Alzheimer’s diet choices that can benefit brain health.

 

 

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Are Home Remedies Safe for Acid Reflux? Tips for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease are prone to many stress induced conditions such as depression, anxiety heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions including; headaches, general aches and pains and acid reflux.  Although acid reflux may sound like a pretty minor ailment, long term sufferers of the condition may have a different perspective and medical experts know that this condition could lead to much more serious health concerns.  

There are many home remedies for chronic heartburn and acid reflux, but are any of these remedies really safe for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease? 

 

 Studies on Caregivers and Chronic Acid Reflux

The Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving reports; approximately one in 10 caregivers report their physical health has worsened as a result of taking on caregiving responsibilities.  In 2005 3/5ths of all caregivers surveyed reported fair or poor overall health status and 1 or more chronic physical conditions (compared with 1/3rd of non-caregivers in the study). In fact, caregivers reported twice the rate of diseases such as; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, compared to non-caregivers.

According to WEB MD.com GI problems are commonly worse in those who are caregivers as a result of increased stress.  Stress is a common factor in many GI conditions including chronic heartburn. 

acid reflux treatment for Alzheimer's disease caregivers

image source; http://www.nerdgraph.com/acid-reflux/

The Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving reports; approximately one in 10 caregivers report their physical health has worsened as a result of taking on caregiving responsibilities.  In 2005 3/5ths of all caregivers surveyed reported fair or poor overall health status and 1 or more chronic physical conditions (compared with 1/3rd of non-caregivers in the study). In fact, caregivers reported twice the rate of diseases such as; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, compared to non-caregivers.

According to WEB MD.com GI problems are commonly worse in those who are caregivers as a result of increased stress.  Stress is a common factor in many GI conditions including chronic heartburn.  

The good news is there are many simple home remedies and tips that can help with symptoms of chronic heartburn. 

First and perhaps most important, realize that many types of over the counter medications for acid reflux may cause symptoms to actually worsen with long term use.  With your physician’s approval, it may be best to slowly wean off of antacids such as H2 blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors. 

Tips for Alleviating  Chronic Acid Reflux or Heartburn

Eating a proper diet is vital for those with chronic heart burn.  The following are great diet tips to avoid acid reflux:

  • Maintain a high fiber low saturated fat diet including fruits, vegetables and lean meat
  • Oatmeal and bananas are great for decreasing stomach acid
  • Avoid red sauce as much as possible
  • Eat plenty of beans and legumes- lentils, navy beans, black beans and more
  • Avoid fatty meat and all fried foods
  • Replace applesauce for oil in baked goods and other recipes such as pancakes
  • Try mixing about 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of ginger in hot water to make an acid reducing tea
  • Sip on a glass of water with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar as a great home remedy to reduce heartburn
  • Be sure to eat small frequent meals during the day
  • Avoid eating at bedtime
  • Drink plenty of water to help promote healthy digestion
  • Avoid the following; fatty red meat, spicy foods, fried food, raw onions, tomatoes, butter, oil, chocolate, wine and other alcoholic beverages and caffeine
  • Avoid peppermint-some studies show that peppermint actually relaxes the muscles around the esophagus allowing acid to flow back into the esophagus Maintain a healthy body weight-studies indicate a strong link between acid reflux and excess body mass index
  • Refrain from wearing belts and tight clothing-which acts like excess belly fat by pushing against the stomach forcing acid into the esophagus
  • Elevate your head slightly when sleeping (perhaps 6 inches or so) which according to studies helps the stomach acid to drain from the esophagus faster than when you lay flat.
  • If you are smoker, quit smoking, nicotine has been shown to cause bile salts to leak from the intestines into the stomach and also reduces the amount of saliva (containing acid reducing chemicals

Is Baking Soda Safe for Acid Reflux?

Use caution if you use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a household remedy for heartburn.  Drinking too much baking soda can cause serious complications because of its high sodium content as well as its alkalizing effect on the body.  Side effects of sodium bicarbonate could potentially include; increased blood pressure, edema or swelling, hypernatremia (excess sodium in the body), or even more serious conditions such as; metabolic alkalosis (symptoms include: confusion, tremor, feeling light-headed, muscle twitching, nausea, vomiting, prolonged muscle spasms) or even congestive heart failure. Excessive use of baking soda could also result in a syndrome that causes kidney stones-particularly if the bicarbonate is taken in conjunction with tums or other calcium supplements.  Be sure to consult your physician before taking baking soda on a regular basis.

In Conclusion

Acid reflux is a serious condition that if left untreated could lead to severe health concerns.  As a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) it’s very important to practice self-care, so you can better care for the one you love.  Learn more about self-care for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease at http://www.alzu.org.