Diagnosis & Treatment of Serious Acid Reflux

More Than 6 Million Hispanics in the US Suffer From Acid Reflux Disease Yet Most Are Unaware of its Seriousness According to a New Survey.
Study Shows Need for Awareness about Acid Reflux Disease (ARD) and its Possible Long-Term Consequences.

6.1 million Hispanics in the United States suffer from acid reflux disease(1), however a survey sponsored by AstraZeneca that was conducted in five U.S. cities with large Hispanic density, reveals that more than sixty percent (66%) of Hispanics are not familiar with common terms to describe the condition known as acid reflux. According to the new survey, although Hispanics are familiar with the symptoms of acid reflux, they don't know that these symptoms may be part of a potentially more serious medical problem.
Suffering frequent symptoms of acid reflux, may not only affect everyday productivity and sleep, but can also cause potentially serious damage to the esophagus if not treated properly.

Acid reflux occurs when harsh acid passes back up into the esophagus, causing the inner lining of the esophagus to become irritated. A valve localized between the esophagus and the stomach called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) muscle stops closing properly, allowing the stomach acid to go up to the esophagus. This can irritate the esophagus. Despite low awareness of the condition, twenty-one percent (21%) of people interviewed said they suffer from acid reflux related symptoms; two or more times a week.

"Acid reflux may be serious and can be treated. It affects approximately 29 million Americans,(2)" said Pedro Jose Greer, Jr., M.D, F.A.C.P., F.A.C.G, gastroenterologist affiliated with Mercy and Baptist hospitals in Miami. "Acid reflux often requires chronic medical treatment to properly control acid levels or it may result in long-term consequences such as serious damage to the esophagus. Generally speaking, Hispanics suffering from acid reflux think the only cure is to drink homemade tea or stop eating some of their favorite dishes or condiments. This is simply not true."

About Acid Reflux - Of all the symptoms related to acid reflux, heartburn is the most common. Other symptoms of acid reflux can include: difficulty when swallowing (due to the acid that goes back to the esophagus) and regurgitation (sensation of stomach contents backing up into the throat).

Although acid reflux is caused by the back up of gastric acid into the esophagus, some foods or activities may also trigger these symptoms; for example, bending or lying down after eating, using tight clothing, eating chocolate, tea, alcohol or foods with high fat contents may trigger the symptoms. Doctors recommend keeping a journal to help them identify the foods and activities that benefit people who suffer from acid reflux. Likewise, it is important that persons suffering from these symptoms see a doctor who can evaluate them and recommend a treatment program.

1. Cheskin Research, August 2004
2. NHWS 2004, Consumer Health Sciences
Source: Hispanic PR Wire

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