Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Why they are on the rise. How to prevent it?
Who doesn’t enjoy eating a great meal?!? But when the meal turns into heartburn (a.k.a. acid reflux) …. well that’s just unpleasant. Heartburn is when the food and stomach acid rise and cause a burning sensation in your esophagus. It can be so severe, that in some cases it can be mistaken for a stroke or even a mild heart attack.
Studies have shown that heartburn has almost doubled in the past decade. The primary reason for the increase in heartburn is directly linked to Americans gaining too much weight. The increased weight adds pressure on the stomach and esophagus, pushing more stomach acid back-up and causing heartburn. Untreated, chronic heartburn can cause scars in the esophagus and potentially even increasing the risk of esophageal cancer.
Almost 60 million Americans have heartburn at least once a month, and some studies report that more than 15 million Americans have symptoms every day. Ouch.
Besides losing weight, your best defense against heartburn is watching what you eat. Certain foods can irritate the lining of the esophagus and fatty foods can loosen the muscles and allow acid to escape the stomach more easily. Caffeine and carbonated beverages should also be avoided if you suffer from heartburn regularly.
It’s always good to talk to your local health professional for your specific concerns.
As your health professional about safe and effective medications for treating heartburn.