New here--a few questions

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Naptown
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/25/2010 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, all. I came across this forum while searching about GERD. I've never been diagnosed, just been diagnosed with severe heartburn. I've taken Prevacid off and on--off for the last couple years until lately. A month or so ago, the heartburn came back pretty badly. I'm getting the sour taste at the back of my throat again, the chest pains (which always scare the hell out of me), etc. When perusing this forum I came across what may be contributing or triggering my problem: peppermint. I had no clue this was a problem for heartburn. In fact I started taking a peppermint supplement about 6 months ago to help control gas and bloat. It seemed to work a bit for that. And peppermint tea always seemed to soothe my stomach. But now I realize it was not a good idea!

I started back on Prevacid about 10 days ago. After a few days it started really working. Then I started taking my supplements again and the last 2 days the reflux has shot back on me. So now I know to cut out the peppermint, but I wonder about some of the other supplements I take and I thought I'd throw them out there and see what folks on this board thought. Besides peppermint, I have also been taking: garlic, cinnamon extract, and omega-3/fish-oil/D3. Besides that, I take a multi-vitamin.

Also, I smoke. I have tried to quit many times before. A friend of mine has quit in the last year by using an electronic cig as a stepping stone. Since the electronic cig is just water vapor with a nicotine extract and flavoring, it seems like it should be better for my heartburn--or at least not worse. Anyone know?

Thanks!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 2/26/2010 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Naptown,
Welcome to the GERD/Heartburn Forum! You're definitely in the right place. Yes, peppermint is a hugs GERD trigger. Be sure to stay away from it! I could never figure out why Maalox had a peppermint flavor option, since most people using it are probably dealing with reflux. It does have a cooling feel, but it relaxes your LES (the valve that holds stomach acid where it belongs).

You're right in thinking about quitting smoking. I'm sure you've read that it also contributes to reflux. I've never been a smoker, but it is clear that it's really hard to quit. It would be great if you could stop--for more than one reason. I think there are lots of support systems out there to help. I don't know anything about the electric cigarettes, so I can't help you there.

I did find this in a research journal online:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Smoking causes some physiologic effects that could potentially worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It decreases the lower esophageal sphincter pressure and increases the number of reflux episodes.[56,57] As a consequence, patients with GERD are asked to stop smoking in an attempt to improve their symptoms. Nicotine might be responsible for the effects of smoking on GERD. Nicotine patches produce a decrease in distal esophageal peristalsis and sphincter pressure, resulting in reflux.[58,59] This is probably the result of nicotine-mediated release of NO at the lower esophageal sphincter.[60] As already mentioned, nicotine affects other factors that might be important in reflux, such as gastric acid secretion, pepsinogen, mucus, and prostaglandins.

Everyone is different. While some triggers are universal, others are unique to each person.
Here's a list I found on the internet:

Foods to Avoid on an Acid Reflux Diet

A GERD diet isn't very complicated; it simply avoids or limits the consumption of foods known to trigger acid reflux. Fried and fatty foods are common GERD triggers, and simply limiting consumption of these two groups can improve GERD symptoms, as well as improving overall health.
Other dietary acid reflux triggers include:

* Alcohol
* Caffeinated beverages
* Chocolate
* Citrus fruits and juices
* Onions and garlic
* Peppermint
* Sodas
* Spicy food
* Tea and coffee
* Tomatoes and tomato-based foods.

I'm sure you'll get lots of other advice and support from forum members. This is a great forum, and it has helped me tremendously. It's very active, and you're sure to get additional responses to your request for information.
Best wishes, Naptown! I hope you find answers to your questions and find relief.
Take care,
Denise

cj2306
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 2/26/2010 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
a lot of those foods triggers my vertigo as well - wierd right?! anywho at least for me i find that decaf green tea doesn't bother me - try and also stay away from hunny - at least for awhile - i've eaten those foods periodically once my gerd has been under control - i dont have an actual peppermint but i find that when i get the chest pain i chew a peice of mint gum which helps me burb and that (at least for me) helps the pressure

also try and stay away from sausages, peppers : again at least until its under control then if you want try and gradualy put them back in your diet

i've suffered from gerd since 1998 - vertigo since 2009 - been on nexium once a day until 2 weeks ago, now im on 2xs aday - it just came at me with force - waiting on biopsy results from my endoscopy

good luck and keep us posted!

Naptown
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/26/2010 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the responses! Hmmmm......so it looks like my garlic supplement is out now too. Coffee will be the hardest--next to smoking.

I really think that stress is what really brought this back for me more than anything else. I left that part of my story out: I started having dizzy spells a few months ago, went to the ER after a bad one thinking I'd had a stroke (thankfully did not). So now I've been going through multiple EEGs and an MRI with my neurologist. Still no real diagnosis--just hypotheses. Plus, I went through 10 months being unemployed and just started working again less than a year ago. I'd, of course, lost my employer-backed insurance from before. Now I'm a contract worker with no benefits. I actually had the forms ready to send to apply for new insurance on my own when the trip to the ER happened. So I have to get through this neurology thing on my own dime before any insurance company will consider me.

All that has had me pretty stressed. The heartburn/GERD came back worse than ever--especially the roaming dull chest pains! The only thing making it easier is that my Dad has lived with GERD over 20 years, so I've had him to talk to.....

Hopefully I'll get a neuro-verdict soon and can qualify for some insurance. At that point I'll see a gastro-doc.

Until then, my brain is breaking the bank....

Anyone here been through taking Prevacid and Nexium? Seems like Nexium is the big one on the board. It's what my Dad is on--and he's never taken Prevacid for comparison. Are they very different from each other? I could probably get my regular doc to prescribe if it's better than Prevacid.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 2/26/2010 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Nexium is famous for healing erosions. That's why it's done alot.

Did you know that some people with GERD have dizzy spells, too? It's one of those weird things, huh???

Joy

Naptown
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/26/2010 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, ct--from perusing this board! However, I don't know if mine could be related. about 2-5 minutes before my dizziness kicks in the bottom of my left foot feels like it's on fire. I'm not a doctor, but It doesn't seem like it would be related to GERD. On the other hand, I should probably tell my doctor.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 2/27/2010 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I would if your foot is involved.

Joy

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 2/28/2010 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you had your blood sugar checked? Do you have a Ha1c in normal range?

Naptown
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/28/2010 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My glucose was a little high-- 118. This was not long after a meal. I don't see a stat on my Ha1c in the results I was given. There is a stat for hemoglobin that is in the normal range. The only other things out of range were my red blood count--low by only .02; and my "MCH" (whatever that is) was barely high by .1

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 2/28/2010 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
118 is great, especially after a meal...do you run hypoglycemic? (too low)?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 2/28/2010 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
It takes two hours for your sugar to stop rising after eating.

Joy

Naptown
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/1/2010 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I have no clue what I typically run. The blood test was in ER after I had a meal and my GERD kicked in like I'd never experienced before. My dizziness (whether GERD related or not) along with chest pains made me freak out and go to the ER. That's when the blood test was done. So I don't know how I normally run--high or low.

Naptown
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/1/2010 12:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I just want to once again thank everyone on this board! Finding other people going through similar stuff is so heartening. Even though my Dad's reassuring, it is very cool to see there are others out here experiencing similar problems. Thank you all so much!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/1/2010 8:02 PM (GMT -6)   
You're welcome.

Joy
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