Frequent heartburn is painful and impacts the quality of life: Study

While most adults have likely experienced the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn at least once, for the 50 million American adults who suffer from frequent heartburn two or more days per week, the condition is not only painful, it can also impact their quality of life.

According to The Experience of Frequent Heartburn in America, 2009, a study of 1,075 frequent heartburn sufferers conducted by Center for Health Outcomes Research & Evidence Based Medicine, LLC and United BioSource Corporation, frequent heartburn can significantly impact sufferers' lives by affecting their ability to get a good night's sleep, be productive at work, have positive personal relationships and enjoy social activities.

Dr. Brian Fennerty, a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at Oregon Health and Science University and nationally known lifestyle expert Kelley L. Moore are Prevacid®24HR Heartburn Coaches who have seen these effects of frequent heartburn first-hand.

"Until now, frequent heartburn has been largely misunderstood in America. This study confirms how frequent heartburn affects my patients' daily lives. It's not only painful, it can also interrupt work, social activities and a full night's sleep," said Dr. Fennerty.

The study, which examined the experience of frequent heartburn sufferers, also found that the more severe frequent heartburn is, the greater the impact it can have on people's quality of life. For instance, among a subset of study respondents with moderate to severe frequent heartburn pain:

  • 54% reported that their heartburn affected their sex life
  • 44% experienced some family relationship problems resulting from their heartburn
  • 67% reported that their heartburn pain has kept them from doing the kinds of things their peers do

As a Heartburn Coach, Kelley Moore combines her years of experience as a social worker with her passion for helping people see the full picture of their life. "Frequent heartburn sufferers should embrace their moment of decision -- the moment they decide to tackle frequent heartburn head-on," she says. Once a sufferer has decided to do something about her frequent heartburn, Moore suggests that she initiate a get-together. "Invite friends over to reestablish those social moments and connections that may have been lost due to heartburn."

Avoiding certain foods, eating smaller meals and quitting smoking can help frequent heartburn sufferers, but they often also need to seek treatment for their symptoms. "There are effective over-the-counter treatments like new Prevacid®24HR, which is clinically proven to treat frequent heartburn for a full 24 hours. Over-the-counter treatments are convenient, affordable options for the millions of frequent heartburn sufferers, and can empower them to treat their symptoms," added Dr. Fennerty.

Both Moore and Dr. Fennerty offer additional self-care tips and tools for frequent heartburn sufferers through the Heartburn ACTION plan, at This 14-day program aims to educate frequent heartburn sufferers on how to treat the condition and provides tips that may help make it easier for them to enjoy a more full life. The plan is sponsored by Prevacid®24HR, which prevents acid production that causes frequent heartburn pain for a full 24 hours with one pill a day.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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