It's not "just heartburn"—acid reflux disease may be more serious than you think
Nearly everyone has experienced heartburn, the sensation of burning discomfort in the chest, often brought on by eating a large meal. In fact, heartburn is the most common gastroesophageal disorder in the United States—more than seven in ten adult Americans suffer from heartburn each month. Few people, however, realize that heartburn is really just one symptom of the disorder known as acid reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acid repeatedly washes up into the esophagus, or remains in the esophagus too long.
Most people experience GERD as a cluster of simple symptoms—belching, chest pain, and indigestion. Others suffer painful or difficult swallowing, asthma, chronic cough, and hoarseness, symptoms that can indicate a more serious disorder or lead to such complications as bleeding, esophageal stricture, and esophageal cancer. Some people, however, experience no symptoms—and they run an especially high risk of developing complications.
Healing Heartburn seeks to educate people about GERD's symptoms and the range of available treatments and also to help people take charge of their lives by doing something about their own acid reflux disease. Authors Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin and Dr. Brian E. Lacy cover diagnostic tests, a step-by-step approach to treatment, the effectiveness of medications, complications and how to avoid them, and special considerations for pregnant women and for children. Illustrations, questionnaires, patient vignettes, answers to commonly asked questions, and a list of additional resources round out this comprehensive patient guide.
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