Heartburn - Just Another Reason to Lose Weight
Although obesity is becoming an ever-increasing problem in America, nobody wants to be overweight. Carrying excess weight around wherever you go makes life more difficult and can be at the root of many health problems. For instance, there is a growing body of research that supports the premise that excess weight increases the risk of chronic heartburn and it's advanced cousin GERD.
Just another reason to lose weight...
Yes, the evidence is mounting that a slimmer version of ourselves is most likely a healthier version of ourselves. Many doctors concur that if you lose weight you will reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.
With so many people, around 60 million Americans alone, suffering with either heartburn, acid indigestion or GERD, you would think that something as simple as losing weight would be a no-brainer. Furthermore, GERD can lead to a narrowing of the esophagus with precancerous changes developing in the esophageal lining.
A recent study evaluated 200 men and women around the age of 46 years old. All of them were overweight. All of them suffered from heartburn, with some experiencing heartburn severe enough to be classified as GERD. Over a period of six months, as patients lost weight, there was a significant reduction in the symptoms of acid reflux as well. In fact, only about 16% of the participants continued to suffer from this disease.
It is interesting to note, that whenever a participant gained any weight back, even small amounts, their symptoms often returned. However, those patients who didn't regain any of their lost weight continued to show improvement.
It is worth adding that this particular program encouraged participants to commit to five hours a week of some form of exercise. The results were rather startling. Exercise helped to improve heartburn symptoms for women, but not for men. Go figure!
There have been larger studies conducted that also found that weight gain, even within the normal weight range, seem to be linked to heartburn symptoms. Yet, these studies are still in the preliminary phases and are by no means conclusive. It is encouraging, however, as we watch the evidence grow. Something that's already good for you, maintaining a healthy weight, could also be the answer to alleviating pain, serious discomfort and possible future health problems.
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