Thirty to forty percent of the US population suffer from GERD, otherwise know as reflux or heart burn. This, however, is considered a risk factor for heart disease and possibly heart attack.
Around 57 percent of individuals who have heart burn have had a heart attack within five years of being diagnosed with GERD.
Individuals who were treated were at much lower risks for heart attacks. Those who continue to be undiagnosed increased their risks of a major heart attack significantly.
What is GERD? Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease is a common digestive problem caused when acid from the stomach flows backwards into the esophagus. The lining of the stomach is made to handle the strong acids that break down food. The esophagus however, gets irritated when strong acid touches it. A muscle usually keeps the stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. With GERD, however, the muscle doesn’t close the right way, allowing acid from the stomach to get into the esophagus.
Some of the most common symptoms are too much saliva in the mouth, feeling like a lump in the back of the throat, ongoing cough, sore throat, and hoarse voice.
This condition is treated by avoiding foods that may make symptoms worse, such as acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus, alcohol, chocolate, and caffeinated drinks. Also, by avoiding large meals or eating anything three to four hours before going to bed, as well as not smoking.
Please schedule an appointment with us, 757-488-3333, if your condition evolves to these symptoms: blood in stools, chest pain, choking while eating, pain or difficulty swallowing, weight loss, or vomiting.
We are always here to help you live better, not just get better.
~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed