Acid Reflux More Common than Before

If it seems like the talk about heartburn and acid reflux in Ft. Myers is more abundant than in the past, you might be right. Acid reflux disease is about 50 percent more common now than it was ten years ago, according to a long-term Norwegian study that was completed about a year ago. The number of people who are experiencing acid reflux is at an all-time high, while women seem to be developing the condition at an increasingly alarming rate.

Acid reflux is a primary symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Also marked by chronic and severe heartburn, this condition is caused by a damaged valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus, allowing stomach acid to escape, irritate and inflame the esophageal lining. There are many reasons that could be contributing to the increased onset of GERD, including the rise of obesity.

The Norwegian study evaluated more than 30,000 adults over the course of 11 years. They found that the development of acid reflux symptoms increased by a significant amount over that time, by approximately 30 percent total. The onset of severe symptoms increased by about 24 percent, and the number of people who experience acid reflux chronically, or on at least a weekly basis, increased by 47 percent.

The increase in acid reflux symptoms was evident among men and women, young and old. While women experienced the highest increase in the onset of acid reflux symptoms, and those in their middle age years were more likely to experience acid reflux, all demographics were found to experience some degree of growth in this area.

The Norwegian researchers also found that acid reflux symptoms only improved without treatment for about two percent of the study participants. While lifestyle changes are often credited with reducing acid reflux, only treatments like reflux surgery can fully repair the problem.

Acid reflux disease has become more and more prominent over the past decade. Lifestyle factors like obesity, eating fatty foods and smoking cigarettes can all greatly increase your risk of developing acid reflux and heartburn.