Heartburn remains a burning problem for more than 60 million Americans each month but a new National Heartburn Alliance (NHBA) survey reveals the majority of sufferers are confused by available treatment options. In response to the new survey findings, NHBA has added more educational tools to its Web site.
Heartburn remains a burning problem for more than 60 million Americans each month but a new National Heartburn Alliance (NHBA) survey reveals the majority of sufferers are confused by available treatment options. According to the survey, 64 percent of sufferers are unsure how common over-the-counter (OTC) medications differ, while 54 percent are “unfamiliar with treatment options” or “don’t know how they apply.”
To address the need for education, NHBA has developed the “Name that Burn Quiz,” a personalized, online heartburn screener that can help sufferers identify whether they experience episodic, frequent or severe heartburn and define their distinct behavioral and lifestyle triggers.
“The new survey findings clearly demonstrate that too many Americans suffering from heartburn don’t have proper knowledge regarding available treatments and lifestyle changes that apply to them,” says David A. Peura, M.D., F.A.C.P., M.A.C.G., A.G.A.F, NHBA chair and professor of medicine at the University of Virginia. “To address the gap, I’m pleased to announce that NHBA now offers customized online information about appropriate treatments based on the type of heartburn sufferers experience.”
New NHBA Tools
In response to the new survey findings, NHBA has added more educational tools to its Web site at www.heartburnalliance.org. “Learn About Your Burn” is dedicated to helping heartburn sufferers identify their type of heartburn and appropriate treatment options.
• Episodic, or occasional, heartburn is characterized by infrequent bouts of heartburn that are usually manageable or predictable in the short term.
• Frequent heartburn occurs two or more days per week. Frequent heartburn sufferers may also be those who medicate heartburn symptoms more than two days per week.
• Severe, or chronic, heartburn occurs more than two days per week and persists while taking appropriate medications despite dietary and lifestyle changes.
“Name that Burn Quiz” is an interactive screener to help sufferers identify what type of heartburn affects them and what individual lifestyle habits may contribute to or “trigger” symptoms. Once the quiz is completed, each user will receive suggestions for treatment options or lifestyle changes that may help improve symptoms.
Visitors can read real-life profiles of heartburn sufferers and learn about steps they have taken to reduce, control or eliminate heartburn. They can view a sample reflux record-a tool that can help track heartburn symptoms-and download their own. They can also share their personal heartburn success stories with other heartburn sufferers.
Additional Survey Results
• Only 41 percent of all heartburn sufferers surveyed correctly identified their type of heartburn-episodic, frequent or severe (even though 63 percent thought they could).
• Sixty-two percent of heartburn sufferers surveyed believe heartburn is their own fault, due to their health or something they ate.
• Since 2000, an increase of 23 percent of heartburn sufferers surveyed said that they seek information about heartburn on Internet health sites (an increase of more than five times).
• More than 69 percent of all sufferers surveyed said they would like to know more about heartburn.
How NHBA Can Help