South Africans are too serious hence the rise of stress!

According to Pharma Dynamics, the prevalence of heartburn and symptoms associated with acid reflux has risen dramatically over the last decade. Currently more than 1.5 million South Africans suffer from this uncomfortable condition daily and the figure is growing annually.

Of concern, a 2013 Bloomberg study rated 74 nations around the world based on their ‘stressed-out’ factor. SA ranked as the second most stressed-out country in the world after Nigeria.

Globally there has also been an alarming rise in esophageal adenocarcinoma, the most common form of cancer of the esophagus, which is strongly linked to chronic heartburn.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics says the worry about chronic acid reflux is that years of exposure to stomach acids can trigger changes in the lining of the esophagus, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus, which may over time lead to cancer.

“The most effective treatment for chronic heartburn are proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) which limit the amount of acid the stomach produces, but less expensive over-the-counter (OTC) antacids are also available.”

According to Aswegen, she shares the following:

* Do whatever calms you down – it can be as simple as listening to your
favourite music.

* Take some time out of the office or any other stressful environment you
may find yourself in.

* Do something that you really enjoy, whether it’s playing golf, pottering
in the garden or any other hobby that you find relaxing.

* Exhaustion may exacerbate heartburn symptoms, so be sure to get enough
shut-eye and try to sleep elevated.

* Get moving – exercise helps loosen up tight and tense muscles or go for a

* Learn to say no and prioritise people and activities.

* Laugh more!

* Talk to a therapist or good friend which can help alleviate stress and put things in perspective again.

* If you’re stressed rather opt for healthier and less fatty food options.
Stay away from spicy foods, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes and caffeine.

There’s a notion that South African’s are too serious. Is this the cause?

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