8 WORLD GASTROENTEROLOGY NEWS AUGUST 2015 Editorial | Expert Point of View | Gastro 2015: AGW/WGO | WDHD News | WGO & WGOF News | WGO Global Guidelines | Calendar of Events Heartburn on the Rise in Pakistan Zaigham Abbas, MBBS, FCPS, FRCP, FRCPI, FACP, FACG, AGAF Head, Department of Hepatogastroenterology Sindh Institute of Medical Sciences at SIUT Karachi, Pakistan This seminar was organized to com-memorate World Digestive Health Day with the theme of day “Heart-burn: A Global Perspective.” Speakers were organized by the Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of Medical Sciences at SIUT on Friday, 29 May 2015. The audience of this seminar included doctors, medical and para-medical staff, and lay public. They were informed that heartburn was a burning sensation in the chest, just behind the sternum, and occurred due to the reflux of acidic contents from the stomach into the food pipe. It is a common medical disorder that affects about 25 percent of our population. Experts at the seminar stressed the need to create awareness about the causes and complications of heartburn and noted the growing complaints of heartburn that may be the result of changes in lifestyle, increasing obesity, and lack of physical exercise. The speakers encouraged the audience to avoid the excess intake of citrus fruit juices, carbonated, caf-feinated, and alcoholic beverages, and spicy and fried foods, to avoid large meals and not to lie down at least two hours after meals. Patients who were unresponsive to such lifestyle changes require medical evaluation and ther-apy. Sometimes endoscopy and even surgery may be indicated. Highlight-ing the general complications of long term untreated heartburn, experts said that it could cause inflammation of the esophagus, esophageal ulcer or its narrowing, and Barrett’s esophagus, which could lead to cancer of the esophagus. Heartburn in children is different from adults as children may present with regurgitation, recurrent vomiting, recurrent chest infection, wheezing, and growth failure. Those who addressed the seminar included Drs. Anwar Naqvi, Zaigham Abbas, Rajesh Mandhwani, Muhammad Manzoor Siddiqui, Muhammad Ali Khalid, Amir Bakhsh, Ghulamullah Lail, and Ghous Bux Soomro. Attendees at the World Digestive Health Day Seminar in Pakistan.
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