Heartburn Prevention Canon City CO

Yet heartburn, while not as catastrophic as the dissolution of a family, can be pretty miserable. It hurts like crazy, robs you of sleep, and can be terrifying when mistaken for a heart attack (see “Heartburn or Heart Attack?” page 33). And it’s exacerbated by stress (as in, divorce). One version, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD—the result of chronic, untreated heartburn—has even been linked to cancer.

Dennis George Larson, MD
(970) 221-1000
2121 E Harmony Rd Unit 200
Fort Collins, CO
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Tx Med Branch Galveston, Galveston Tx 77550
Graduation Year: 1972

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J Thomas Okin, MD
(303) 478-8563
1407 Larimer St Ste 202
Denver, CO
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Yale Univ Sch Of Med, New Haven Ct 06510
Graduation Year: 1960

Data Provided by:
John Messenger
(720) 848-0000
12605 E 16th Ave
Aurora, CO
Specialty
Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
Nita G Harris
(719) 635-7172
1400 E Boulder St
Colorado Springs, CO
Specialty
Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
Dilsher Nawaz, MD
(303) 331-0051
9395 Crown Crest Blvd
Parker, CO
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Ain Shams Univ, Fac Of Med, Abbasia, Cairo, Egypt (330-04 Pr 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1983

Data Provided by:
Daniel S White
(303) 442-2395
2505 4th St
Boulder, CO
Specialty
Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
George Pappas, MD
(303) 761-6088
3595 E Long Rd
Littleton, CO
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Jefferson Med Coll-Thos Jefferson Univ, Philadelphia Pa 19107
Graduation Year: 1959

Data Provided by:
Howard D Weinberger, MD, FACC
(303) 372-0600
4200 E 9th Ave Box B-120,
Denver, CO
Specialties
Cardiology, Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Barry R Smith
(303) 778-6880
950 E Harvard Ave
Denver, CO
Specialty
Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
John Spalding Rumsfeld, MD
1055 Clermont St Cardiology (111B)
Denver, CO
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Chicago, Pritzker Sch Of Med, Chicago Il 60637
Graduation Year: 1991

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Spotlight on Heartburn

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By Michael Castleman

When Sandy Bush, 35, of Canyon Country, California, went to see his doctor complaining of extreme heartburn, it seemed like the least of his problems. His wife had just left him for another man, and he was trying to help their two young children through a messy divorce.

Yet heartburn, while not as catastrophic as the dissolution of a family, can be pretty miserable. It hurts like crazy, robs you of sleep, and can be terrifying when mistaken for a heart attack (see “Heartburn or Heart Attack?” page 33). And it’s exacerbated by stress (as in, divorce). One version, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD—the result of chronic, untreated heartburn—has even been linked to cancer.

This irksome condition has become epidemic: Half of all Americans experience the occasional bout, and 15 percent—that’s 43 million people—get it frequently enough to consult a doctor. In fact, heartburn is so common that the leading medications, Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are among the world’s most frequently prescribed drugs. The New York Times reported that last year, Prilosec (a.k.a. “the purple pill”) racked up U.S. sales of $4.6 billion—more than the profits for McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut combined.

PPIs do work better than other heartburn drugs, relieving symptoms in 90 percent of cases. But they have a troubling—and underpublicized—downside: They actually make heartburn worse after you stop taking them.

Here’s why: Heartburn happens when a ring of muscle that surrounds the base of the esophagus weakens or is overpowered by upward pressure from the abdomen, allowing acid to back up or “reflux” into the esophagus, explains Jana Nalbandian, an assistant professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle. PPIs work by minimizing stomach acid, but they also increase gastrin, the enzyme that triggers acid production. Stop taking a PPI and you get “rebound hypersecretion,” which means that your stomach actually produces more acid than before. “PPIs are like a dam on a river,” says gastroenterologist Neil Stollman, an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. “The dam cuts the flow to a trickle. But remove the dam, and the river floods.” As a result, those who discontinue PPIs typically rush back to their doctors and beg for more; Stollman says his patients call Prilosec “purple crack.” To get off PPIs, users must wean themselves slowly over several weeks.

Fortunately, there’s another solution, one that targets prevention rather than controlling symptoms. Of course, it’s a bit more work because it requires a number of lifestyle changes rather than just popping a pill. “Heartburn prevention is a balancing act,” Nalbandian says.

Still, Sandy Bush decided to go this route after his doctor explained its many advantages. “He told me if I made some behaviorial changes, I could probably get better without m...

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