A brief request: I've been battling gastric reflux issues for months now and OTC meds and lifestyle changes don't seem to be working (I'm even cutting out my beloved afternoon tea...sigh). And the lack of quality sleep is starting to wear me down.

Can any of you who've dealt with this share your best ideas for feeling better? I'll be heading to the doc soon but I'd love to know if there's something I should try that I haven't yet, or just to hear from folks who've been successful in dealing with this problem.

It's such a little thing compared to other health issues that I've had, but I'm realizing that it's not getting better and might not stay such a little thing...For example, last night I had a horrible spell of coughing, asthma, burning throat--all while I was just too tired to hardly be able to deal with it. And now I'm just so so tired. Help!


Delaney said...

Get the prescription meds if that is an option for you. Also, you may want to consider getting an esophageal endoscopy done to determine whether your lower (or upper) esophageal sphincter is the actual problem.

littlemissattitude said...

Chocolate is a bad thing when you have reflux. As I understand it (from the doctor who diagnosed my hiatal hernia, when he advised me to not eat chocolate), there is a chemical in the chocolate that looses up that valve and makes it easier for the acid to leak up into the esophagus. This is why I can't eat chocolate at all. Which sucks.

Hope you get this resolved soon.


jana said...

LMA: I rarely eat chocolate anymore--I can only think of once in the past month. It's a bummer, indeed.

Delaney: we'll see what advice my doc has and whether he'll recommend the scope.

mamadoula said...

I feel your pain, quite literally. I've had reflux before and during pregnancy. I took omeprezole (Prilosec) before, and it worked great. I had to try taking the meds at different times of day to find what worked the best (afternoon). Now I take Protonix, a different, but similar med because of the pregnancy. It's prescription, and in my opinion doesn't work as well as the Prilosec, but it does the job. I still take it in the afternoon, though.

My wonderful hubby also put a few 2x4s under our headboard so our bed was at an angle. I don't need that anymore, but it definitely helped at the time.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else to tell you! It really sucks to not be able eat chocolate, anything with tomatoes, and coffee! I find when I've been taking my meds though, I can eat just about anything. Sometimes with a backup Pepcid....

Good luck!

catbonny said...

Peppermint tea would be a good idea.
Pepcid AC has always worked well for me, and there have been times in my life where I definitely ate tums like candy. Some ginger suckers might help too

Anonymous said...

Prescription meds work the best.

Cut out caffeine, smoking, alcohol and reduce fat intake, all of these things relax your cardiac sphincter at the top of your stomach.

Good luck.

Delaney said...

Actually peppermint tea is a BAD idea for those with reflux. Mint things of all kinds - gum, breathmints, tea - aggravate reflux.

Hope you get things worked out soon!

catbonny said...

Oops. My mom always said peppermint, but the internet says no way.

This page does have some interesting drink suggestions though.

sarah k. said...

I had it pretty bad while pregnant, so I got them to prescribe the higher dose Zantac. Or maybe I just doubled up on the lower dose. Without it, I was miserable and tired. On second thought, I was already those things, but at least with the meds, I had some relief from that one thing. I hope you find some relief.

Laura said...

G suffered from reflux for years. Found help w/ Rx meds. Doesn't take the meds any more (unless big bout of stress intervenes) and is feeling great. ALSO, raising the head of the bed a few inches helped me a lot w/ pregnancy-related reflux. GOOD LUCK

Sarah R in Austin said...

Please have your physician check your TSH levels for possible hypothyroidism (make sure they use the new scale where anything over a 3 is suspect and cause for low dose thyroid hormone replacement). Hypothyroidism can lead to slow GI transit times which can lead to reflux. If you have noticed other symptoms of poor thyroid function (dry skin, hair loss, brain fog, unexplained fatigue, weight gain, morning tiredness, etc...), then DEFINITELY get your TSH levels checked.