Heartburn is a national problem:
- GERD is associated with $10 billion in direct costs to the United States of America.
GERD costs the United States up to $75 billion in lost work productivity.
Seven percent of Americans experience heartburn on a daily basis.
Approximately 44 percent of Americans experience heartburn at least once a month.
These are words you should know:
- Stands for proton pump inhibitor. Considered the most effective drug for relief of frequent heartburn. It is a "prodrug" requiring acid activation for maximum efficiency. What does this mean? Many drugs work no matter what time you take them. PPIs are best taken, given the way acid works in your body, right before your first meal of the day.
- For best results, take your proton pump inhibitor before your first meal of the day, and if indicated, right before dinner as well.
Not taking your heartburn medication correctly is a big problem:
- When patients use their proton pump inhibitors properly - right before their first meal - the symptoms, frequency and severity of their heartburn were all substantially lower.
- The heartburn severity score for those who took their medication properly was 13, compared to 83 for those who didn't take it right and 75 for those who took it in excess.
- Heartburn frequency scores were 3 to 4 times higher in those who didn't take their proton pump inhibitors properly.
- Symptom scores were 2 to 3 times higher in those who didn't take their proton pump inhibitors properly.
- Untreated or inadequately treated heartburn can lead to long-term complications, including Barrett’s Esophagus, a known pre-cancer.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our Gastroenterology providers please call 216-778-5736.