This health guide offers an introduction to two conditions that affect tens of millions of Americans.
Gastroenterologist Lamont (C. Diff in 30 Minutes, 2013) does an admirable job of presenting a plain English, authoritative overview of acid reflux (also known as GERD) and heartburn, which together he estimates may strike more than 60 million people in the United States. The author begins with patient cases that show the effects of either GERD or heartburn on four people of different genders and ages. Using these stories at the very beginning of the book enables readers to immediately identify with the patients and understand that these conditions are universal. Each case ends with helpful takeaways that extract key lessons. Subsequent chapters explore the causes of heartburn and acid reflux, how these conditions are diagnosed (including lucid explanations of medical tests and procedures), typical treatments, and a final chapter on severe acid reflux. “Basic treatment of acid reflux,” one of the most helpful chapters, discusses foods that can trigger GERD and heartburn. Also in this chapter is a thorough look at acid-blocking medications, differentiating between H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors. Here, Lamont indicates possible side effects and covers recent research that may indicate a relationship between taking acid blockers and contracting Alzheimer’s disease. “Coping with severe acid reflux” is an equally enlightening chapter because it candidly addresses medication versus surgery for more serious cases. The author clearly describes various types of surgeries, including the recent LINX device, in simple language. He acknowledges that his intent is to provide general information rather than specific medical advice. There are three strengths to this work: The writing takes complicated subject matter and makes it easy to comprehend; stock illustrations augment the text; and the content is extremely focused. Lamont’s superb credentials should instill confidence in readers. The volume is part of a series of “In 30 Minutes” books, labeled by the publisher as “quick guides for a complex world.” This manual on acid reflux and heartburn fits that mandate nicely.
Highly informative yet intelligible; provides ample details without attempting to replace treatment by a medical professional when warranted.