Anyone who's suffered from acid reflux knows it's not pleasant.
Sometimes, what we eat can be to blame.
But, there's also another risk factor that can increase the chances of ending up with GERD.
"At least half of the population has taken reflux medicine at one time or another," Dr. Adi Gupta, a surgeon with Tri-State Specialists said.
Heartburn's a common condition and new studies show even more prevalent in people who need to lose weight.
"Obesity causes increased abdominal pressure with the fat. It forces open the diaphragm and therefore it leads to more reflux. So, it's a mechanical problem it kind of forces things up into the chest more," said Dr. Gupta.
Dr. Adi Gupta with Tri-State Specialists conducted extensive research on GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease .
He says it not only impacts a person's physical well-being, but emotional well-being.
That's a pretty bold statement. But, if you think about it.. hypertension and diabetes are like silent killers. But, reflux you feel it all of the time that pain behind the chest going up through the throat," said Gupta.
If untreated GERD can lead to something even more severe.
"This is the important thing.. there is a definite link between GERD and cancer. People with GERD for more than five years even if it's controlled need to get tested and get an endoscopy."
And, if medication doesn't work or the condition progresses surgery could be the next option.
"It works very well. Studies have shown that it works in 90% of people over ten years. So, they don't need medications anymore. People usually get out of the hospital the next day much like a gall bladder surgery."
Dr. Gupta isn't just an expert on GERD.
"I take the occasional nexium or the Tums," said Dr. Gupta.
He also suffers from the condition.
"I want to spread awareness about it.. it is there don't ignore it. If you're taking medicine it's good if it's controlling it but I would definitely follow up with my primary care physician."
Dr. Gupta says long term use of medication can cause calcium and iron deficiencies.
And, here's a warning sign you might no be aware of. If you cough or have asthma-like symptoms at night it could be related to acid reflux.
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