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Friday, October 5, 2012

Watching Dr Oz 10/5/12: Silent Reflux, Esophageal Cancer, At-Home Silent Reflux Test, Prevention Plan for Acid, Lower Risks For Esophageal Cancer, Super Fans Share Tips

The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: October 5, 2012
Dr. Oz The Silent Killer: America's Fastest Growing Cancer

  • Silent reflux can lead to esophageal cancer
  • At-home test for silent reflux
  • Lower risks for esophageal cancer
  • Super fans share their favorite tips (Including my family!)

Common symptoms, similar to cold and allergy symptoms, could be a sign of this silent killer. Half of all women in the US are at risk for developing esophageal cancer and don't know the warning signs to look for. Dr. Oz talks to experts about the symptoms for and reducing the risks of esophageal cancer. Super fans, including my family!, share their favorite health tips.

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Dr. Oz The Silent Killer: America's Fastest Growing Cancer

It's America's fastest growing cancer: esophageal cancer. Half of all women across the country experience the warning signs. The symptoms can often be silent and go misdiagnosed until it's too late.

Sandra experienced trouble swallowing and a persistent cough for months and both symptoms continued to get worse. Doctors told her she was healthy and there was nothing wrong with her. She began to feel pain along her throat and could feel the smallest bite of food traveling down her esophagus.

What Sandra thought was allergies was something much more serious. She insisted on seeing a specialist who diagnosed her with stage 3 esophageal cancer. Sandra underwent radiation treatments and then surgery to remove most of her esophagus. Doctors took part of her stomach and stretched it to replace the portion of the removed esophagus. She had to relearn how to eat to support her body and her new esophagus.

Dr. Oz said the symptoms of esophageal cancer can easily go undiagnosed because they are so similar to common issues such as a cold and allergies.

Dr. Oz: Symptoms of Silent Reflux
  • Post nasal drip;
  • Persistent cough;
  • Hoarseness in the throat.

To be clear, said Dr. Oz, this is not heartburn but silent reflux.

Dr. Oz's team set up a mobile health care center at a mall to provide free screenings for silent reflux. The turnout was tremendous and several women learned that they suffered from silent reflux. For most of these women it was the first time anyone mentioned the word reflux to them.

Christy was diagnosed with asthma at age 14, now in her 20s she experienced persistent coughing and choking. Without insurance, the free clinic was a great opportunity for her. At the clinic, doctors told Christy that she doesn't have asthma but has likely been suffering from reflux for years. Christy has been on asthma medications for nearly 10 years without experiencing any relief. The free screening allowed Christy to receive the proper diagnosis and begin treatment to reduce her cancer risks.

Dr. Oz: At-Home Test For Silent Reflux

Dr. Jamie Koufman, MD, Founder and Director of the Voice Institute of New York, coined the term silent reflux. Dr. Koufman explained that symptoms of heartburn, chronic allergies, can chronic sinus congestion have all been associated with a greater risk of esophageal cancer.

Dr. Jonathan Aviv, MD, Clicnical Director of the Voice and Swallowing Center [and contributing blogger to], said if the symptoms described above last more than 8 weeks, indicating they are not associated with a cold or allergies, the issue may have something to do with the larynx and reflux.

Dr. Oz: Reflux Symptom Index Quiz
This five question quiz is designed to determine the extent a person may be suffering from silent reflux symptoms. For each question, rate your answer on a scale from 0 to 5 with 0 being no symptoms and 5 being the worst.

Within the last month, have you had any of the following problems:
  1. Hoarseness or raspy voice or other problems with voice
  2. Excess throat mucus or postnasal drip
  3. Troublesome or annoying cough
  4. Sensation of something sticking in the throat or lump in throat
  5. Heartburn, chest pain, or indigestion
These are the five questions featured on today's Dr. Oz Show, click here for the full nine question quiz on

For the five questions above, if your total score is greater than 10 it's important to see a specialist for a throat examination to determine if it's silent reflux as well as the severity of the problem.

Forty percent of today's audience said they scored higher than 10 on the five question quiz.

At the Voice Institute of New York, Dr. Koufman explained that the exam she preformed on Christy included the questions above as well as a more comprehensive visual examination of the sinus cavity and throat. Grading all those factors, Dr. Koufman can then provide patients with a grade from A to F, much like in school where A is the most desirable score and F being an indicator of risk.

Christy's received a score of F-. Dr. Koufman found a tremendous amount of swelling and inflammation, even a polyp, in Christy's throat. All these signs point to Christy being at high risk for esophageal cancer.

Dr. Koufman said silent reflux and symptoms that put a patient at high risk for esophageal cancer are all completely treatable. Most patients of the Voice Institute of New York graduate from therapy within a year.

Dr. Oz: Lower Esophageal Cancer Risks

Silent reflux is precursor to esophageal cancer. To help people manage their risks and reduce acid in their diet, Dr. Koufman has authored the book Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure.

Reflux allows for the enzyme pepsin to populate the esophagus. Pepsin thrives in an acidic environment. Anytime an acid food is eaten or acid comes up from the stomach it allows the pepsin in the esophagus to thrive. Over time, pepsin can eat away at the tissues of the esophagus and increase risks of developing esophagus cancer.

Dr. Oz: Silent Reflux Prevention Plan #1: Deacid your Foods
The most important step to reduce risks of silent reflux is to get rid of the acid in your diet. Avoid fried foods, chocolate, mint, tomato and onion all should be avoided in the initial stages of managing silent reflux.

Focus on foods that support a balance of acid in the system. Foods such as bananas, cantaloupe, anything green, almond milk, and oats do not contribute to acid levels in the body.

Dr. Aviv explained that the initial stages of managing silent reflux typically runs from 2 to 4 weeks. Studies show that in 14 days of removing acidic foods from the diet, a patient can take their reflux index score from 10 down to 5.

Dr. Oz: Silent Reflux Prevention Plan #2: Three C's
Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks as well as seltzer water. The bubble in the seltzer water take up acid from the stomach to the throat where the bubbles pop and can do damage to the esophagus.

Dr. Oz: Silent Reflux Prevention Plan #3: Canned Foods
Most canned foods, bottled foods, nearly all packaged foods are packaged with an acid to prolong shelf life. Anything in a can will have more acidity than the fresh form, explained Dr. Koufman. The label will show Vitamin C but that's not to provide more nutrition in the food, it's to increase the acidity and thus the shelf-life. 

Dr. Oz: Super Fan Hall of Fame

[Super fans were asked to provide videos to The Dr. Oz Show where they discussed their favorite tips from The Dr. Oz Show. That includes my family! Back in August, The Dr. Oz Show staff contacted me and asked if I could provide a short video about my favorite tips. My whole family got involved and our little video was on today's show! It's a bit of a thrill to see myself on TV with my whole family. Thanks Dr. Oz!]

In our little video, we shared that Todd Wilbur's healthy baked chicken is a family favorite meal and that my kids love to sprinkle flax seeds on their Greek yogurt. Clickhere for Todd Wilbur's recipe for Healthy Fried Chicken from

One fan shared that Dr. Oz's tip to sleep on a contour pillow covered in silk pillow case has helped to relieve her neck pain.

Three ladies have come together to create what they call the Dr. Oz Club. From watching The Dr. Oz Show, the ladies shared that they now love fish oil supplements, their kitchens are filled with Dr. Oz approved videos. They get together often to make recipes featured on the show from salads to blueberry smoothies.

Brenda and Betsy are neighbors, Betsy noticed Brenda wasn't feeling well one day so they started talking and discovered their shared love of The Dr. Oz Show. Betsy said the ladies tend to focus on weight loss ideas and love pomegranate juice to support a healthy weight.

Brenda shared that she suffers from migraines so she kept track of her food intake in a diary. Her diary showed that headache triggers for her were cheese and chocolate. She also noticed that soy sauce triggered her headaches as well. Remove these from her diet have reduced her headaches.

The third woman of the group, [I missed her name] is a busy mom with three kids. She fills up the fridge with healthy fruits and veggies but noticed that the fresh foods goes bad fast. To help her family eat those healthy fresh foods faster, she created her “Eat Me Now” box which goes in the front of fridge. Now her whole family reaches for food in the that box first.

Betsy said she loves all the anti-aging information she gets from The Dr. Oz Show. She's taken the best facial cleansing recommendations to create her own scrub. Mix ½ of an avocado with 1 tablespoon of honey and a splash of tomato juice for a scrub that smells great and does wonders for her skin.

In another fan video, a mom shared that her kids were watching The Dr. Oz Show when Dr. Oz talked about the dangers of sugar in the diet. Her kids volunteered to give up daily sugary desserts and now only have them occasionally.

Dr. Oz: Super Fans Transforms Health

This super couple wants to stay healthy and they love all the health information they have learned from The Dr. Oz Show. With a family history of cancer, high blood pressure, and heart issues it's important to them to choose the best foods for their family.
The family shared their favorite healthy frozen treat recipe they call ice pops. Blend ½ cup blueberries, 6 strawberries, 1 ½ ripe banana with almond milk and drizzle in some honey. Pour mix into popsicle molds and freeze.

Change it up by using different berries. Any non-dairy high-protein milk will do as well such as coconut or soy milk.

Dr. Oz: Wild and Bizarre Treatments

There's no shortage of wild and bizarre treatments available in the world. Dr. Oz shared that he had done the fish pedicure before and loved it. The treatment involves putting your feet into water which holds little fish that eat the dead skin off your feet. [Umm....]

A super fan shared her secret solution for removing chlorine from hair. Her platinum blonde daughter loves to swim but struggles with damaged hair because of it. Her hair dresser recommended using tomato paste and it worked great for her.

Wet hair the apply tomato paste over the entire scalp and all the hair. Leave paste on for 30 minutes then rinse out. Wash and condition as normal.

Place your vote for this week's quiz
and return on Saturday for the answer.

Thank you for making Watching Dr Oz a success!

1 comment:

  1. One thing they didn't mention is that all antidepressants and antianxiety drugs can cause or aggravate silent reflux. If you must taking those drugs, what do you do?