In Light of Heartburn Drug Recall, Maple Grove Clinic Offers Relief
The Twin Cities Heartburn Center in Maple Grove offers assistance after local drug stores pulled the heartburn drug Zantac and generics. There’s concern the products may contain a chemical that causes cancer.
Maple Grove has a Heartburn Clinic
Whenever there’s a big game on TV, people tend to flock to a local bar to enjoy some food and have a few drinks.
Such a thing is fine, as long as it’s done in moderation.
But too much of a good thing – mainly fatty foods and alcohol — could result in acid reflux.
“So carbonation, sodas, beer, anything that’s going to cause stomach expansion creates pressure on that valve,” said Dr. Kourtney Kemp, director of the Twin Cities Heartburn Center, which is part of Specialists in General Surgery in Maple Grove.
The center helps to diagnose and treat people with heartburn and acid reflux.
“Heartburn itself can be anything from a cough, acid in the throat, a burning sensation, sometimes asthma,” Dr. Kemp said. “But the true underlying cause of how they feel is usually reflux or ulcer disease, and that’s what we’re trying to determine.”
Reflux happens when harmful acid in the stomach comes up the esophagus due to a loose valve.
“Your valve is kind of a muscular… it keeps and holds to prevent the acid from coming back up the esophagus. It opens to allow food to pass,” Kemp said. “When you have reflux, this valve doesn’t quite close.”
Pharmacy shelves are stocked with medication to help reduce acid production in the stomach, but these medications don’t address the primary cause of reflux.
That’s where Dr. Kemp comes in.
“If you’ve been on [a medication] for more than eight weeks, and you don’t have complete relief, or even if you’re on it and you want to try to go off it, one thing it would be good to talk to your regular doctor — or even us at the Heartburn Specialists — to say ‘Hey, I want to go off this medication. Is it safe?” Kemp said.
One form of treatment is a procedure where they encircle the valve in the esophagus with magnetic beads called “LINX.”
“It’s physically designed for pressure to withstand reflux, but not too much pressure that it prevents you from swallowing,” Kemp said.
Meanwhile, one way to avoid all of these issues is to simply maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Diet and exercise,” Dr. Kemp said. “It’s with anything.”