About 40 million people in the United States suffer from heartburn, according to Albert Wetter, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula surgeon. “Unfortunately, about 40 percent of people who take medications for heartburn still experience symptoms,” he says.
Heartburn or acid reflux, are other names for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD – a condition in which liquids from the stomach wash up into the esophagus causing pain, says Mills-Peninsula surgeon Pamela Foster, M.D.
The doctors explain acid reflux and the latest techniques to detect and treat GERD in this video segment from Healthpoint TV.
Is that pain in your stomach an ulcer? About 5 million ulcers were reported in the United States last year, according to Vino Verghese, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula gastroenterologist. “There are many types of ulcers, most commonly occurring in the stomach or small intestine,” he says. “People with an ulcer may experience stomach pain that is relieved by eating or taking antacids. But some ulcers can be completely painless.”
Contrary to popular belief, ulcers are not caused by stress, the doctor says. “Stressful behaviors like smoking or drinking alcohol may predispose people to ulcers, but almost 80 percent of ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection.”