Silent Reflux Screening Tool

More than 50 million Americans are affected by silent reflux and only a few know it. Often misdiagnosed, silent reflux is acid reflux that does not produce heartburn or indigestion. Silent reflux can be treated but, if left unchecked, can cause cancer. To find out if you should be concerned about silent reflux, take this simple quiz. A printable version can be found here.

Silent Reflux Screening Tool

This quiz, known as the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI), can be used as a first test to determine if you should see a specialist. Circle the appropriate number for each symptom and add up the numbers to find your RSI. If your RSI is 15 or more (and you have a zero or a one for heartburn), you should contact a doctor trained in detecting reflux by examining both the throat and esophagus. Read more on how to detect and treat silent reflux. 

Silent Reflux Screening Tool

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

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