Many people suffer from acid reflux and GERD, and almost everyone has experienced one of their common symptoms, heartburn. Heartburn can vary in severity, but it's always unpleasant and can badly disrupt your day, especially if you're busy at work.
Naturally, celebrities aren’t immune to illness, and a sudden heartburn attack affects them as badly as the rest of us.
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Which Celebrities Suffer from Acid Reflux or GERD?
There are undoubtedly many celebrities with acid reflux or GERD who don’t like to talk about it, but many do.
I've listed a few who have shared their experiences below.
The American singer-songwriter’s story started during her Saturday Night Live appearance in 2004. She was performing her song, “Pieces of Me,” but after leaving the stage, she returned to sing another song. However, the backing track from “Pieces of Me” was still playing, exposing her lip-synching.
Embarrassed, Simpson left the stage. Her manager later explained that she had a bad case of acid reflux that affected her singing, so she'd received a cortisone shot.
She still has occasional flare-ups of acid reflux, but far fewer after adjusting her diet.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton has a long history of acid reflux. Originally believed to be suffering from chronic laryngitis caused by allergies, he was eventually diagnosed with GERD.
To reduce the severity of his symptoms, he sleeps with his head elevated. During his presidential campaigns, he used throat sprays to combat hoarseness.
The Everybody Loves Raymond actress was diagnosed with GERD in the early 2000s. She described her initial episodes as frightening, saying that she had food stuck in her throat, which scared her. She also said that once she was diagnosed, her doctors told her it was because her esophagus was swollen and irritated, leading to an increased risk of choking.
Before her death in 2016, Roberts encouraged people to seek professional advice for digestive system issues, as many are unaware that difficulty swallowing is a symptom of acid reflux and GERD.
In 2007, British singer Laura Critchley stood on stage at Wembley Arena in London, but nothing came out when she opened her mouth. She was suffering from acid reflux so severe that gastric acid had burned her vocal cords.
To soothe her inflamed esophagus, Critchley’s doctor prescribed her medicine that reduces stomach acid production. Now, she speaks as little as possible, especially before a big performance, to let her vocal cords rest.
Jim Palmer, a former baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles, suffered from acid reflux for ten years before being diagnosed with GERD. Before his diagnosis, he blamed his heartburn on stress and an unhealthy lifestyle.
He tried changing his diet, taking over-the-counter medication, and not eating for at least three hours before bed, but nothing worked.
After diagnosis, he was prescribed a proton pump inhibitor, a very common GERD treatment.
His symptoms have since subsided, and he now advocates for GERD awareness.
U.S. President Joe Biden
Current President Joe Biden has also had to deal with acid reflux and GERD symptoms. He is believed to take esomeprazole for his GERD symptoms.
Although his symptoms aren't severe, he has coughing fits brought on by stomach acid in the esophagus.
How Do Celebrities Deal with Acid Reflux and GERD Symptoms?
From over-the-counter medication to adjusting their diets, celebrities control their GERD and acid reflux symptoms like everyone else.
The most common medication, a proton pump inhibitor, helps reduce gastric acid production.
Celebrities also advocate for healthy lifestyle changes, including not eating several hours before bed, consuming an alkaline diet, and removing trigger foods from your diet. Some celebrities also say that stopping smoking and drinking has improved their health.