Duke Rehabilitation Institute Thanksgiving Lunch

Charles Newton Jr. enjoys his Thanksgiving meal among family, friends and fellow patients.

By Betsy Roy, Recreational Therapist

Each year at Thanksgiving, Duke Rehabilitation Institute (DRI) patients join their loved ones and DRI staff for a special event to give thanks, share in friendship and enjoy a delicious meal. This past Tuesday marked the 15th annual Thanksgiving Lunch celebration, with more than 100 people joining in the festivities.

The Thanksgiving lunch is a wonderful opportunity for the DRI staff to treat the patients and their families to a special day during the Thanksgiving holiday, while they are in the hospital recovering from illness and injury.

The therapy gym is transformed into a large dining room, where DRI patients, their families and staff enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and homemade desserts. Therapists, nurses, physicians and leadership work together to create an atmosphere of fellowship, friendship and gratitude, while sharing stories and sentiments of appreciation.

The entertainment is always a highlight of the event, as the units’ medical director, Dr. Raphael Orenstein, physical therapist, Jessie Haury and therapy aide, Bob Mutter, share their musical talents.

Our state-of-the-art 30-bed unit specializes in short term rehabilitation of patients with a wide range of conditions. To learn more, visit dukeregional.org/DRI.

GERD Awareness Week

This week is national Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Awareness Week. Studies show that one in three people suffer from GERD, a condition in which the contents of the stomach leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus, or food pipe, causing irritation.

Over time, persistent exposure of the delicate tissue of the esophagus to the acid content of the stomach can cause chronic inflammation of esophagitis. This can lead to a potentially serious condition called Barrett’s Esophagus.

At Duke, minimally invasive endoscopic and surgical treatments have proven to be safe, effective options to cure GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus. Learn to manage your GERD symptoms with the following tips:

  • Don’t eat dinner late
  • Eat snacks with low fat content
  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid acetic fruits and juices
  • Avoid spicy and seasoned food
  • Limit alcoholic beverage consumption
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Eat several smaller meals throughout the day
  • Limit soda consumption
  • Limit extra space
  • Avoid peppermint
  • Avoid exercising after you eat
  • Don’t sleep or lie down right after you eat
  • Talk to your doctor about finding a GERD treatment that is right for you

Learn more about treatment of GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus at a free seminar. Click here to register.

Managing Holiday Eating

by Ellen Michal, RD, LDN, CDE—Lifestyle and Disease Management Center, Duke Raleigh Hospital

Holidays are a source of great joy. They can also be a stressful time for people trying to prevent weight gain.

Food is part of our culture and opportunities to celebrate begin with Halloween, peak in December and decline by April. This represents half a year of maintaining a vigil against over consumption. Setting up a strategy for each event can overwhelm even the most organized individual. Strategies are great but they can’t compare to a strong daily routine.

Building a daily routine has a number of benefits to keep the extra pounds away. If we practice anything, whether it’s a sport or musical instrument, we become more proficient. As we improve, that practice becomes more embedded in our behavior. When something disrupts the practice cycle we notice it and can respond with minimal effort. The same is true for food. Having a routine increases our awareness. When celebrations happen we are more likely to notice drifting away from a habit and can adjust quickly. How often have we delayed a change by saying, “I’ll start tomorrow,” knowing that we probably won’t. That does not feel good and does not help our self-efficacy. The reverse is also true. When something has been working well we are more likely to say, “I give myself permission to have a tiny piece of cake, but that’s all I need. The way I feel today is much more important than chocolate flavored flour, butter and sugar.” Success begets success.

Let’s start with our mindset. Our thoughts precede our actions. Start thinking about your routine. Being attentive to these concerns drives the thought that drives the action.

Happy holidays!

Try Duke Regional’s Free Electronic Card Service for Patients

ecardDo you have a friend or loved one currently being cared for at Duke Regional Hospital? Use our free electronic card service to send a thoughtful and encouraging message to brighten their day.

Select a design, enter your message, click send, and a hospital volunteer will personally deliver the card to the patient’s room.

This service is available for inpatients currently staying at Duke Regional. We cannot deliver to outpatients or patients in the emergency room. Cards are delivered Monday through Friday; we are unable to deliver cards on holidays.

Click here to show your support and send a message to a loved one today!

Endoscopic and Surgical Treatments for GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the contents of the stomach leak backward into the esophagus, or food pipe, causing irritation. (To learn more about the signs and symptoms check out yesterday’s post.)

Minimally invasive endoscopic and surgical treatments have proved to be safe, effective options to cure GERD for good. Stretta Therapy is a minimally invasive and effective bridge between drug therapy and reflux surgery for GERD. This innovative procedure uses radiofrequency energy to treat the muscle of the esophagus, remodeling the tissue and resulting in improved symptoms and a reduction or elimination of medication.

Stretta does not involve incisions or stitches and is performed in an outpatient setting. Stretta is for select patients who have failed to respond to lifestyle changes and drug therapy, who are concerned about the risks of long-term medication and who are not surgical candidates.

EsophyX TIF is a surgical procedure performed through the mouth, which reconstructs the barrier between the stomach and esophagus to prevent stomach fluids from refluxing up into the esophagus. EsophyX TIF involves no incisions, reduced recovery time and no visible scar.

Nissen Fundoplication is a surgical procedure that strengthens the “valve” between the esophagus and the stomach through the process of wrapping the upper curve of the stomach around the lowest portion of the esophagus. This results in stopping acid from backing up into the esophagus as easily. If a person has a hiatal hernia, which can cause GERD, it will also be repaired during this procedure.

The LINX Reflux Management System is a small flexible band made of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores that is placed around the esophagus. The magnetic pull between the beads is intended to help the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) resist opening to gastric pressures, thus preventing reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. When swallowing normally, the LINX system is structured to expand, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach. The magnetic pull of the device is designed to close the LES immediately after swallowing, thus restoring the body’s natural barrier to reflux.

Weight Loss Surgery may be an effective option for individuals struggling with excess weight as traditional reflux procedures may not be as effective.

Barrett’s Esophagus
Over time, persistent exposure of the delicate tissue of the esophagus to the acid content of the stomach can cause chronic inflammation of esophagitis, which can lead to a potentially serious condition called Barrett’s Esophagus.

The Barrx Radiofrequency Ablation System utilizes high thermal energy delivered using a 3cm-long coil mounted on a balloon catheter. Ablation destroys abnormal cells to allow normal cells to re-populate.

Learn more about treatment of GERD at a free seminar. Click here to register.

GERD Signs and Symptoms

Studies show one in three people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition in which the contents of the stomach leak backward into the esophagus, or food pipe, causing irritation.

Symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn
  • Hoarseness or sore throat
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Regurgitation
  • Frequent swallowing or difficulty swallowing
  • Asthma or asthma-like symptoms
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Sleep disruption
  • Bloating
  • Excessive clearing of the throat
  • Persistent cough
  • Burning in the mouth or throat
  • Intolerance of certain foods
  • Dental erosions or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation

In addition to dietary controls, medications such as non-prescription antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 blockers help prevent the acceleration of GERD. Over time these medications may lose their effectiveness, requiring increased dosage. This can become expensive and risk long-term side effects. Check out our blog tomorrow to learn endoscopic and surgical treatments for GERD.