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Monday, July 30, 2007


Information about developing healthy eating habits and choosing foods that can help to prevent disease. Find out more about healthy ways to diet and exercise, get tips for parents on raising healthy children, and much more. Learn how to make good nutrition a part of your day-to-day life!

# 1 GERD Sufferers Struggle Daily to Stay Awake After Sleepless Nights

"I'm so exhausted after just four hours of sleep that I can barely keep my eyes open at work." Sound like the lament of a new mom or a person with insomnia? Guess again.

For the estimated 36 million Americans with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - a chronic condition in which the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus - sleepless nights and workplace distractions can be a regular occurrence. For them, the chronic heartburn, acid regurgitation and upper abdominal pain associated with GERD cause more than just physical distress.

In a new national survey conducted among 500 adult GERD sufferers by Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca, GERD sufferers "tell all"- nights spent lying awake, disruptions at work, missing important meetings, and even calling in sick.

For employers, it all adds up to a 10% loss in workplace productivity, with the total cost of GERD to US employers of up to $75 billion per year. For patients, it may mean something more alarming: studies show that nighttime GERD can be more severe, more difficult to treat, and lead to more serious complications than daytime GERD - including inflammation of the esophagus and cancer of the esophagus (the latter in a small percentage of patients).

"This survey shows that for the many people with GERD who experience symptoms at night, the daytime impact can be enormous," said Dr. Ryan Madanick, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. "Patients should keep track of what time of day they experience symptoms, what tends to trigger those symptoms, and the effect GERD has on their daily lives. That way, their health care professional can develop a personalized treatment plan that suits their individual needs."

Counting Sheep Doesn't Help

(91%) of the survey respondents reported that GERD disrupted their sleep at some point. For nearly half (44%), this happened at least once a week. When these disruptions occurred, individuals slept just four hours a night, on average - half the amount doctors recommend for optimal health, safety, and performance.

Sleepless Nights Equal Sleepy Days

After a poor night's sleep, more than half (53%) of sufferers reported having to take a nap the next day, 39% experienced more GERD symptoms because they were tired, and 22% were unable to concentrate at work. Ten percent even had to call in sick the next day. In fact, workplace distractions are a concern for most GERD sufferers, regardless of whether they slept well the night before. According to the survey, employed GERD sufferers (86%) reported that GERD has interrupted their workday.

For some people with GERD, simple changes to their eating habits such as eating smaller and more frequent meals, not eating late at night, and avoiding certain foods can help alleviate symptoms. If GERD symptoms persist, sufferers are encouraged to visit their healthcare professional who can provide proper testing, diagnosis, and if appropriate, treatment. Depending on the severity of the condition, your healthcare professional may recommend antacids or acid suppressors to alleviate the symptoms of GERD, or if necessary, prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which can also provide healing benefits and control damage to the lining of the esophagus.

To learn more about GERD, visit


#2.Gardening, Nature May Be Therapy
by Pat Melgares

Die-hard gardeners and other nature lovers have always believed plants somehow feed the spirit, as well as the body. Today's scientists are finding more and more proof to back up this belief - among gardeners and non-gardeners alike. In fact, "plant power" may help explain why yardwork has been the No. 1 U.S. leisure-time activity for years.

"For busy people, working in the yard is a way to exercise, yet feel like they've gotten something done. Flower lovers and people interested in safer or better tasting food have different reasons for working outdoors. I doubt many analyze why they also feel better after they've finished gardening for the day. They don't need to," said Chuck Marr, a horticulturist with K-State Research and Extension.

Researchers have found that just looking at or being around nature can significantly reduce stress, blood pressure, muscle tension, depression, absenteeism, complaints, post-operative pain and days to recovery.

For more information on health and nutrition, interested persons may contact their local K-State Research and Extension office.

K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Source: Pat Melgares, News Coordinator
K-State Research and Extension



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