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Irritable bowel syndrome, macular degeneration

Created date

September 25th, 2015

Q. My doctor diagnosed me with irritable bowel syndrome. Lately, along with having frequent bowel movements and a lot of gas, I’ve been burping a lot and sometimes have a burning sensation in my throat. Is that IBS-related or could it be something else?

A. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits, including frequency, constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of all of these. IBS is a disease of the large intestine, however, so it may not be responsible for symptoms that involve your upper gastrointestinal system. Frequent burping and burning in the upper stomach or esophagus are possible signs of gastrointestinal reflux, but they can also be attributable to something else. It is important for you to contact your doctor as soon as possible to find out the cause and avoid possible damage to your esophagus. 

Q. I have macular degeneration. Are there any effective treatments?

A. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the number one cause of blindness in people age 60 and up. It causes gradual loss of central vision. There are two kinds—dry AMD and wet AMD. In general, treatments can slow vision loss but cannot restore already-lost vision. For dry AMD, a vitamin/mineral formula developed by the National Eye Institute has been found to slow the progression of intermediate-stage dry AMD to the advanced stage. Some people are candidates for a telescopic lens replacement in one eye. For wet AMD, laser surgery, drug injections into the eye, and photodynamic therapy may slow symptoms. A healthful diet may also be beneficial—one including omega-3-rich fish, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Your eye-care professional can recommend the best treatments for you.


Health and wellness experts practice exclusively at Erickson Living communities all over the U.S. This month our expert is

Austin Welsh, M.D.

Medical Director,



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