Feeling that burning sensation in your chest and throat, again? You probably are not alone. Many Americans experience this discomfort and find themselves asking, what is this feeling? What is heartburn? Is this sensation heartburn? Whether you are experiencing occasional heartburn or have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), knowing a few quick statistics about this common experience may help you rest a little easier.
1. Between 20 – 30 percent of adult Americans experience acid reflux symptoms every week. In fact, nearly everyone will experience heartburn at some point in their life.
2. 10 percent of Americans have heartburn every day! That’s unfortunate. If you fall into this category, it’s time to see a gastroenterologist, stat.
3. Of people who experience heartburn, 40 percent say that nighttime heartburn affects their job performance the next day. Your employer probably doesn’t love the impact your evening heartburn has on your daytime productivity. Again, maybe time to make a doctor’s appointment.
4. Hospitalizations for GERD increased by 216 percent between 1998 and 2005. People often confuse heartburn symptoms with more serious conditions. However, it’s always better to be safe. When in doubt, check it out.
5. Between 1998 and 2005, GERD in babies increased by 42 percent. No need to fret, most tots outgrow their infantile heartburn.
6. People who do not experience acid reflux account for 34 percent of the esophageal cancer incidences in the U.S. Anxiety-ridden people, breathe a sigh of relief. Regular heartburn does not mean you will contract cancer. Should you still talk to your doctor about lowering your risk factors? Absolutely.
7. More than 50% of pregnant women say they experience heartburn in the third trimester. By this stage of the game, the baby is putting pressure on the stomach and other organs. No wonder heartburn occurs in half of pregnancies.
Brace yourself for the bonus round! 95% of people are able to connect heartburn to a dietary decision. When all else fails, or before you try anything else, eliminate the meal choice that instigated your heartburn in the first place.
Most people who suffer from occasional heartburn are able to control their heartburn through simple dietary or other lifestyle changes. For some, though, heartburn can be a sign of a more serious condition like GERD. If you notice that you’re suffering from heartburn on a regular basis, try keeping a heartburn journal to identify what might be causing it, and schedule an appointment with a reflux specialist.