Heartburn Prevention Swampscott MA

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.

David E Schwartz, MD
(978) 927-4110
77 Herrick St
Beverly, MA
Business
The Medical Group Inc
Specialties
Cardiology

Data Provided by:
Gerald M Perlow, MD
(781) 581-2111
40 Atlantic Rd
Swampscott, MA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1963

Data Provided by:
Herbert Edwin Cohn, MD
(617) 421-6234
35 Wharf Path Apt D
Marblehead, MA
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1965

Data Provided by:
Mark R Anderson
(978) 744-5900
81 Highland Ave
Salem, MA
Specialty
Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
Steven Kurzrok
(978) 744-3499
331 Highland Ave
Salem, MA
Specialty
Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
Gerald M Perlow, MD, FACC
(781) 595-1607
40 Atlantic Rd
Swampscott, MA
Specialties
Cardiology, Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
David Joseph Roberts, MD
(508) 744-3499
81 Highland Ave Ste 101
Salem, MA
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Vt Coll Of Med, Burlington Vt 05405
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided by:
Marc A Forgione
(978) 744-3499
331 Highland Ave
Salem, MA
Specialty
Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
John C Santos, MD
(978) 744-3499
331 Highland Ave Ste 101
Salem, MA
Specialties
Cardiology, Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Rochester Sch Of Med & Dentistry, Rochester Ny 14642
Graduation Year: 1965

Data Provided by:
David Joseph Roberts
(978) 744-5900
81 Highland Ave
Salem, MA
Specialty
Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease

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Spotlight on Heartburn

Provided by: 

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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