Facebook Pixel

GERD or Heartburn Crimping Your Style? Tell Your Doctor

Rate This
Heartburn (GERD) related image Photo: Getty Images

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if acid reflux or heartburn is part of your life:

How many times per week do you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and/or heartburn?

How often are the symptoms so prevalent that you have to leave a social gathering?

Does the condition make you cut back on physical activity?

And most importantly, have you ever discussed GERD or heartburn with your doctor?

These were the types of questions asked in a recent survey of 1,000 American adults defined as GERD and/or heartburn sufferers. To the surprise of the American Gastroenterological Association, almost one in five sufferers has never discussed their condition with a health care provider (HCP). In addition, the majority of sufferers describe their GERD and/or heartburn as moderate to severe.

“These findings highlight the importance of active, ongoing conversations about the symptoms and triggers of GERD and/or heartburn between sufferers and HCPs and suggest that resources to help open and improve the lines of communications should be made available,” said the AGA in a March 23, 2011 media release.

The survey went out to adults who said they experienced GERD and/or persistent heartburn symptoms two or more times per week when not treating the condition. Defined as “sufferers,” these respondents indicated through the survey data that patient/doctor dialogue offers room for improvement.

About three out of four sufferers described their symptoms as moderate to severe; one-third of respondents said symptoms have sometimes forced them to leave or cancel social engagements; and almost one in three respondents said they have had to limit their physical activities.

Dr. Prateek Sharma, professor of medicine in the gastroenterology division of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, said in the AGA release that greater understanding of patients’ GERD symptoms -- the intensity and frequency -- is key to appropriate management and treatment of the symptoms.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Heartburn (GERD)

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Heartburn (GERD) Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!