Table Talk 030
    Melody

    Hi, welcome to the Table Talk podcast. We're here and we are going to talk about a very important topic that hits millions of Americans every year. And we're gonna talk about heartburn today. So I have with me two of our functional medicine pharmacist on the PharmToTable team, Dr. Katie Johnstone and Dr. Veronica Rera Gilley. So I will have them give a little introduction about themselves and where they are. So Katie, you. Take it away.

    Katie

    Yeah, so, my name's Dr. Katie J. I am in Portland, Maine, and I have suffered from heartburn, so I'm excited to talk about this today.

    Melody

    Awesome. And then Veronica.

    Veronica

    Hi, I'm Dr. Veronica Rera Gilley. I'm a board certified geriatric pharmacist, and I'm located in Texas. And my personal connection to this topic is that I suffered from it greatly during my pregnancies, and I have a family member who also has this. So we have a lot of experience with looking at the functional approach to fixing the heartburn without relying on the drugs.

    And we're gonna talk a lot about why the drugs are helpful, but can be problematic when we rely on that as the primary fix.

    Melody

    Right. Absolutely. So just to lead in a little bit, the reason why we're talking about this is that heartburn affects 10% of Americans, which if you think about, that's a huge number. Like one in 10 people that you're walking around talking to has some kind of heartburn symptom, and 44% of those have this, at least once during a month.

    So it's very common. And I think sometimes when we think about common things, we just think, oh, that's normal for that to happen because it's common. Well, it's not normal. Just because something is common doesn't mean it's normal. And so, what is happening when we experience this burning sensation in the upper chest is that we get this acid that's actually coming from the stomach.

    So acid's supposed to be in the stomach, supposed to help us digest foods, start denaturing, or breaking down those protein. And so when we get heartburn, it actually comes up into the esophagus. So the esophagus doesn't have all of the extra protection that the stomach has. The stomach has lots of mucus layers and lots of protection from this acid.

    And so when we get that coming of the esophagus, we can feel that burning sensation because the esophagus has a very single layer of protection. And sometimes over time that can even be eroded away and even can increase risk of esophageal cancers and things like that when we have severe heartburn.

    And that can lead to Barrett esophagus, which then can lead to to cancer. So there's definitely a reason as soon as we start to experience these symptoms, to figure out what the root cause is and stop that so that we don't progress to some of those worsening things. And certainly what we're talking about today may be a different story if someone is not, that someone who has Barrett Esophagus can't do some of these interventions.

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