“Heart” a Good Book this October

10. 07. 2013

October is National Book Month and this year’s theme is Fall Into Reading. Autumn is the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book. The day grows shorter, the evenings get cooler and we turn on our fireplaces at night to create the warm, cozy glow that makes reading so wonderfully appealing. Fall just beckons us to make a crockpot of soup, a loaf of pumpkin bread and a pot of hot tea and curl up with a good book.

What is on your reading list? Will it be a classic like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky or Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? Maybe it will be a current best seller like The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks, Si-Cology by Si Robertson of the hit reality TV series Duck Dynasty or the sci-fi thriller Thankless in Death by J.D. Robb.

Perhaps you might choose something non-fiction to broaden your horizons. Is there a new cookbook that you want to browse? Do you want to learn how to better manage your finances? Maybe you want to learn more about a health issue that pertains to you. One of the most common conditions that you may want to educate yourself about is heartburn. Heartburn affects millions of Americans, and not just those who are pregnant or eat too much spicy food. Many people are not aware of what heartburn is and would not recognize the symptoms.

Heartburn is a pain in the throat or chest that may make you feel like you are having a heart attack. Actually, heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus caused by gastric acid leaking out of the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is responsible for closing off the passage between the stomach and esophagus. When the LES does not close tightly, reflux can occur.

It is important that you are aware of the symptoms of heartburn so that you can recognize the signs. Some of the most common indicators of heartburn are:

  • Burning in the chest
  • Burning in the throat
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic cough, sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Experiencing pain while lying down

If these symptoms are familiar to you, it may be time to visit your doctor. Some over-the-counter medications are not sufficient to relieve the symptoms of heartburn. Untreated heartburn could cause more serious issues such as Barrett’s Esophagus, GERD, esophageal cancer, reflux esophagitis, silent reflux and strictures so it is best to make an appointment with your doctor and begin treatment immediately.

This fall, enjoy those classics and national best sellers, but mix in some books, magazines and journals that focus on your wellness. Then, you’ll be cultured AND healthy!

 

Related Articles:

What to Expect at Your First Visit to the Gastroenterologist
If I Have Heartburn, Why Should I See a GI?

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