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GERD Awareness Week Spotlights Need for Patient Education on Chronic Symptoms and Available Treatments – What’s Your GQ?
November 23 through 29, 2014 is GERD Awareness Week. Of course, the millions of Americans who experience the unpleasant effects of GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, don't need a special week to remind them of the suffering that is associated with this condition.
Many GERD sufferers are unaware of the dangers of chronic acid reflux or of the available treatment options. These include first line treatment such as reduced acidic diets and other lifestyle changes, medication use, non-surgical Stretta Therapy and finally, for the most severe cases, surgical treatment. It's important for patients to understand their symptoms and the risks and benefits of each of these available options.
Get smart about GERD by measuring your GQ – GERD Quotient
- Did you know that uncontrolled chronic GERD symptoms can cause Barrett's Esophagus, a precancerous condition, or even cancer of the esophagus?
- Did you know that sleep apnea could be a result of GERD?
- Did you know that chronic coughing and hoarseness could be caused by GERD?
- Did you know that approximately 30 percent of patients with GERD still have symptoms despite taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)?
- Did you know that PPIs, when taken long-term have been shown to have significant side effects and may interfere with other medications?
- Did you know that GERD can be caused by a weak muscle with insufficient valve between the stomach and the esophagus called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES?
- Did you know that the LES can be treated with low temperature radiofrequency energy called Stretta Therapy to improve function and reduce GERD symptoms?
Dr. Mark Noar, director of the Heartburn and Reflux Study Center in Towson, MD, and an author of multiple studies on non-surgical alternatives for GERD, sees GERD patients every day. “In the case of chronic symptoms of GERD, it’s critical to get screened to make sure your esophagus or upper airway is not being damaged and that you do not develop cancer, which may not show symptoms until too late.”