Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Adar 5766 - March 22, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Home and Family

Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Director, Emergency Services, Bikur Cholim Hospital

Many people can eat what they please (how I envy them). Others are unable to do so, due to gassy feelings, heartburn or pain. First and foremost, remember that all these signs can be a heart problem, so this must be looked into first. Once we know it is not that, one must consider ulcer problems or Heliobacter Pylori. The former is a sore in the acid environment of the stomach which takes time to heal. There are new medications that reduce this acidity called proton pump inhibitors. Make sure you get this medication if you have this problem.

People get ulcers from smoking, drinking, and stress, or for no reason at all. H. Pylori is a bacteria that unlike other bacteria can live quite well in the very acidic environment of the stomach. It can cause heartburn and pain as well as ulcers. Treatment is a long course of antibiotics. Ulcers are diagnosed by looking in the stomach through a long thin telescope (there is some sedation given). Heliobacter Pylori is diagnosed through a breath test.

If it is none of them, it can be due to slow gastric emptying time — most seen in diabetics and easily treated with Pramin. GERD is another cause. This is where some stomach contents and the acid are regurgitated into the esophagus (food pipe) which is ill-prepared for such an assault. There are medications for this but some other things will help. Take smaller meals, and avoid fatty foods that take their time to digest. Do not eat before going to sleep. Adopt the Israeli custom of eating the big meal in the middle of the day. Lose weight and sleep in a propped up position.

To change the subject: the New England Journal did find that Vitamin D Calcium supplements help older women, but only marginally. Fosalan (fosamax) is the way to go, but the Kupot won't tell you that because it is expensive. Calcium needs to be combined with exercise and taken lifelong (preferably through food and not pill). Osteoporosis is a terrible disease, so change your lifestyle now. Write me in care of the Yated.

A message from GlaxoSmithKline, sponsor of this column. Avodart can help men who have enlarged prostates and cannot empty their bladders. It is a strong medicine that can return men to a normal lifestyle. Glaxo's research can make the difference in people's lives.


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