Healing Heartburn by Lawrence J. Cheskin MD FACP, Brian E. Lacy PhD MD

By Lawrence J. Cheskin MD FACP, Brian E. Lacy PhD MD

Approximately every person has skilled heartburn, the feeling of burning pain within the chest, frequently because of consuming a wide meal. actually, heartburn is the commonest gastroesophageal sickness within the United States—more than seven in ten grownup americans be afflicted by heartburn every month. Few humans, notwithstanding, become aware of that heartburn is de facto only one symptom of the ailment often called acid reflux disorder or gastroesophageal reflux sickness (GERD), a during which abdominal acid many times washes up into the esophagus, or continues to be within the esophagus too lengthy. most folk adventure GERD as a cluster of straightforward symptoms—belching, chest discomfort, and indigestion. Others endure painful or tough swallowing, bronchial asthma, persistent cough, and hoarseness, indicators that could point out a extra critical disease or result in such problems as bleeding, esophageal stricture, and esophageal melanoma. a few humans, in spite of the fact that, adventure no symptoms—and they run a particularly excessive possibility of constructing problems. therapeutic Heartburn seeks to teach humans approximately GERD's signs and the diversity of accessible remedies and in addition to assist humans take cost in their lives through doing anything approximately their very own acid reflux. Authors Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin and Dr. Brian E. Lacy hide diagnostic checks, a step by step method of remedy, the effectiveness of medicines, problems and the way to prevent them, and distinctive concerns for pregnant girls and for kids. Illustrations, questionnaires, sufferer vignettes, solutions to frequently asked questions, and a listing of extra assets around out this finished sufferer advisor.

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If this opening in the diaphragm becomes wider than normal, then part of the stomach may slide up into the chest cavity from its normal position in the abdominal cavity. We call this condition a hernia. (A hernia is any swelling formed when part of an organ is displaced and protrudes through an opening in the wall of the body cavity normally containing the organ. Hernias can occur in many parts of the body, not just at the esophageal hiatus. ) Image not available. 3. A hiatal hernia. Part of the stomach (usually the upper part, the fundus) has migrated from the abdominal cavity up into the chest cavity.

A final misconception many people hold is that eating spicy foods or citrus or tomato products will cause heartburn. This is usually not the case, however. Contrary to popular opinion, spicy, citrus-based, and tomato-based foods do not directly cause heartburn, but they can irritate an esophagus that is already inflamed, and many people with GERD feel better if they avoid these foods. On the other hand, research has clearly shown that specific foods, medications, and activities cause the LES to relax, and this, as explained above, can increase the chances that a person will develop heartburn.

Finally, the area of the GE junction is vulnerable in people who 17 18 INTRODUCTION have had GERD for years, because a condition called Barrett’s esophagus may develop here (see Chapter 8 for more details). Fact or Fiction? Now that we’ve described the physiology of GERD, we’d like to take a brief detour to put to rest three misconceptions about heartburn, or GERD. The first is that people with GERD have heartburn because they produce more stomach acid than people who do not suffer from GERD. This just isn’t so, as several good studies have shown.

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