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Living with GERD and acid reflux

Updated on November 13, 2008

GERD or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder

Ask anyone who has this chronic disorder and they will tell you just how unimaginably painful and stressful it can be. I have had this for 12 years and I can't count the number of times I wondered if it was GERD or was I having a heart attack. One of the side effects, which I get, is a searing "Stop you in your tracks" chest pain. Needless to say I was relieved when the doctors told me that I hadn't had a heart attack. So what can you do? Well if you have good medical coverage you need to get on a regular routine with one of the prescription acid blocking drugs like Previcid or others but if you don't have good prescription coverage you will discover that they cost a small fortune. You can try OTC drugs like Pepcid they will help in many cases. But there are some other things that are overlooked by most of us. I take a Calcium, Magnesium & zinc supplement that I buy at the $.99 store for, you guessed it, .99 cents for 30 tablets and it helps almost as much as the others and It doesn't have any side effects, at least for me. Ladies; you should be taking something like this anyway top help lower your chances for osteoporosis. Here are a few other tips. Avoid anything that is too sweet especially anything baked that has a high fat content that fat will make it harder to keep the acid from being pushed above the stomach valve. (This is true of all fats and oils.) Sleep with your head and chest elevated at least 6", more is better. During my worst attacks I sleep sitting up. Avoid late night snacks except for something like soda crackers. Try taking a fiber substitute at least 1 hour before bedtime. I find that a glass of non-fat milk can help. Avoid any food that has a high acid content, this means spicy, any later than around 4:00, assuming you go to bed around 11:00+. If you are having attacks avoid them all together. The same goes for things like coffee. Absolutely! see a ENT doctor and have it checked out I stopped having heart burn and thought I had outlived the problem only to find out that all of the pain receptors had been burned away. Always have a fast acting product like a liquid OTC for heartburn by your bed; but be careful use these too much and you will do more harm than good. If you eliminate the acid your body will just make more, and will often over compensate by making too much.

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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Nice job explaining this. I take care of many patients with this and actually I'm on medication for this myself. I'm glad my meds work well and I can tell when I am off of it for awhile.

    • Borsia profile imageAUTHOR

      Borsia 

      7 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      Hi Sueroy; Thanks for taking time to check out the hub.

      There are a few other things I'll mention. The first is no alcohol, especially beer or other carbonated drinks, including sodas. Eat more greens, low calorie and slow to digest so they tend to help for a longer time. Green tea, we drank a lot of this in China and it does help as opposed to other teas that contain caffeine.

      A note for the guys; be careful not to take too much of anything with high calcium as it can result in kidney stones.

      Please; anyone with GERD see an ENT doctor sooner rather than later. My GERD had developed to the point that my swallowing reflex is damaged. It is a real pain (literally) to have food stop on the way down and have to consciously swallow.

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      I thought I would check out your hubs as you seemed an interesting person. My hunch was correct!

      This is great advice! I was just wondering tonight what I could do naturally to help my GERD. I'm getting bronchitis, AGAIN, and I'm pretty sure it's due to my lovely acid reflux. I'm working on losing weight (a big one) and I cut out coffee a couple of weeks ago (I'm still crying over that one).

      I took some zinc earlier to help with the cold/bronchitis junk. I pushed aside a bottle of magnesium to get to the zinc, so I know I have two out of the three things you mentioned. I'm siked!

      Thank you for this informative hub. The chest pains ARE a pain, but, like you said, once you get checked out and realize you aren't going to keel over, it's all good... just annoying. :O)

      I know this is an older hub, but I'm still voting up and useful! I think that still helps, yes?

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for the answer friend.

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