- With Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist
Michael F. Picco, M.D.read biographyclose window
Michael F. Picco, M.D.Michael F. Picco, M.D.
Dr. Michael Picco has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Dr. Picco is an assistant professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and a consultant in gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
He has authored numerous publications in the area of gastroenterology, including original research, editorials and textbook chapters. He works with a team of gastroenterologists that takes care of complex gastrointestinal conditions and has a particular interest in diarrheal illnesses and inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease). He is also active in medical education in training new gastroenterologist and internists.
"Mayo Clinic's website is an invaluable resource for patients and their families," Dr. Picco said. "Informed patients are better able to participate in their own health care. A patient's participation is vital to the treatment of his or her disease. I hope to assist in helping patients understand their digestive problems and current treatments that are offered. This will allow for better communication between patients, their physicians and other health care professionals."
Dr. Picco serves as a reviewer of new research for several medical journals in the area of gastroenterology and is an active member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. He serves on numerous committees that address physician training, research and clinical practice in gastroenterology, both at Mayo Clinic and at the national level.
"Patients need to know about their disease, what to expect, the latest treatments and side effects so that they can make informed decisions about their health care. Gastrointestinal disease affects not only patients but also their families. My goal is to assure that our website provides accurate, reliable information and resources for patients. We must always provide the latest, most cutting-edge information to assist patients in dealing with their medical problems," Dr. Picco said.
- GERD: Can certain medications increase severity?
- Acid reflux and GERD: The same thing?
- Laryngospasm: What causes it?
Alternative medicine (1)
- Aromatherapy: Is it worthwhile?
Acid reflux and GERD: The same thing?
Is acid reflux the same as GERD?
from Michael F. Picco, M.D.
Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are closely related, but the terms aren't necessarily interchangeable.
Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus — the tube that connects the throat and stomach. Acid reflux is more specifically known as gastroesophageal reflux. During an episode of acid reflux, you may taste regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of your mouth or feel a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn).
Sometimes acid reflux progresses to GERD, a more severe form of reflux. The most common symptom of GERD is frequent heartburn. Other signs and symptoms may include regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, coughing, wheezing and chest pain — especially while lying down at night.
If you have occasional acid reflux, lifestyle changes can help. Lose excess weight, eat smaller meals, and avoid foods that seem to trigger heartburn — such as fried or fatty foods, chocolate and peppermint. Avoiding alcohol and nicotine may help, too.
If necessary, occasional acid reflux can be treated with over-the-counter medication, including:
- Antacids, such as Tums
- H-2-receptor blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet HB) or famotidine (Pepcid AC)
- Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec OTC)
If you suspect that you have GERD, your signs and symptoms worsen, or you experience nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing, talk to your doctor. Prescription medications may help. In a few cases, GERD may be treated with surgery or other procedures.Next question
Laryngospasm: What causes it?
- Heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux (GER), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerd. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Kahrilas PJ, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Kahrilas PJ, et al. Medical management of gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.