According to one of the largest studies ever to examine gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux, the prevalence of these gastrointestinal disorders has risen nearly 50 percent over the last decade.
The study followed more than 30,000 people in Norway for 11 years. When the study began, 11.6 percent of the people reported acid reflux symptoms at least once a week. However, by the end of the study, that percentage rose to 17.1 percent, an increase of 47 percent.
Obesity to Blame
Researchers suggest that the obesity epidemic is at fault. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, relatively small changes in weight, even in a normal-weight person, can increase the severity of acid reflux disease and its associated complications. Investigators found that people who were overweight, defined by a body mass index of 25 to 30, were almost twice as likely to develop acid reflux as those of normal weight, and people who were obese (a BMI greater than 30) had nearly triple the risk of GERD symptoms such as heartburn, acid regurgitation, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. Perhaps even more surprising was that small gains in body weight in a person of normal weight (BMI of 21 to 25) also increased the likelihood of developing GERD.
Where the weight is distributed is of equal importance. Extra weight in your thighs might prevent you from wearing those skinny jeans, but it’s the excess weight around your belly that’s causing the heartburn. A possible explanation for the connection is that too much fat in the abdomen compresses the stomach and raises its internal pressure, leading to acid reflux. Also, overweight people tend to eat foods higher in fat, which in turn causes more episodes of heartburn.
The good news is that if you’re currently overweight, losing just 10 percent of your weight – a reasonable goal – can significantly ease your GERD symptoms or reduce the frequency of symptoms. Of important note, if you are currently at your ideal weight and suffer from GERD, weight loss is not advisable. However, if you gain a few pounds and notice that your acid reflux symptoms become more severe, losing those extra few pounds might bring some relief. Remember that aiming for and maintaining your ideal weight brings with it other, overall health benefits, including a lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Skinny on Skinny D
Skinny D from Dr. Newton’s Naturals is an all-natural meal replacement that doubles as a digestive cleanse. It was developed by Dr. Brent Agin, a physician with over 30 years of experience as a weight loss and nutrition specialist. Start by simply replacing your breakfast with ½ cap of Skinny D mixed with a glass of water or diluted juice. It’s that easy! Over 60% of our customers have experienced weight loss with Skinny D. Now is the time to take action and reduce the symptoms of your GERD by shedding a few pounds.