GERD Awareness Week is coming up November 21-27, 2010.
Since 1999, The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders has dedicated this week in November to heightening worldwide awareness of this disease, and finding effective treatments.
In view of the upcoming observance of GERD Awareness Week, it is important to look into the common and uncommon symptoms of GERD and methods to treat and/or eliminate these.
Most are not aware that in addition to the classic “heartburn” symptom, regurgitation of acid is another indicator of GERD. A few more symptoms that may be signs of GERD are:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore throat
Studies by the US Department of Health and Human Services indicate that up to 7 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from this condition. GERD also known as acid reflux has a worldwide prevalence of over 18%. Heightened awareness of this disease will lead to earlier diagnosis, and avoidance of more serious conditions that may occur as a result of GERD going untreated for lengthy periods of time. Having chronic reflux, which would be defined as two times a week or more, put you in an increase risk for the development of esophageal cancer. Considering that we have medication's and procedures to control the symptoms, we therefore have an ability to prevent these cancers. The premalignant condition of the esophagus is known as Barrett's South Coast. When one is diagnosed with parents esophagus they have a greater than 120 fold increase risk for esophageal cancer. They are varying degrees of the state and a proper diagnosis is necessary. If you suspect that you may be suffering from GERD, see your doctor.
Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D. is a board-certified gastroenterologist who has been specializing in the research and treatment of GERD for over 20 years. He is affiliated with NYU Langone Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center, and Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.