Dont Ignore Heartburn

By: Janet Martin

An estimated 40 percent of the adult population of the Western world suffers from recurrent heartburn (a burning feeling rising from the stomach or lower chest) yet many are unaware that this is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a serious medical condition that affects 50 million Europeans.

Most people dismiss this symptom as a minor stomach problem and erroneously blame the condition on lifestyle factors like stress, preference for spicy foods, eating too much or too quickly, obesity and smoking.

These are just some of the findings from the Gut Reactions survey conducted by the independent firm Research International in over 5,000 people from France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The survey showed that GERD is a not a well known condition although its most common symptom - heartburn - occurs in 75 percent of patients. This is due to the reflux or backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus or food pipe.

While everyone experiences a little acid reflux from time to time, especially after meals, experts said heartburn that occurs on two or more days a week is a cause for concern since this may be a sign of GERD. Other symptoms include a sour taste in the mouth, difficult or painful swallowing, coughing, wheezing, bad breath, hoarseness and a globus sensation (a feeling of having a lump in the throat).

The same survey said these symptoms could affect a person's quality of life by interfering with normal daily activities like eating, drinking, sleeping, working and even sex. Far from being a minor problem, GERD may cause esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus) and other complications.

Recent international guidelines produced by a team of medical experts in Genval, Belgium showed that lifestyle changes have little or no effect on GERD and may further impair quality of life.

To avoid heartburn, don't eat large meals, limit your intake of fatty and spicy foods, and avoid alcohol. To keep in shape, take Phenocal - a safe and natural weight loss supplement that will boost your metabolism, suppress your appetite, increase energy levels, and help you lose unwanted pounds. For more information, visit http://www.phenocal.com.

Heart Conditions
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Heart Conditions
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles