Does anyone know about the exercise and GERD connection?

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Tinlou
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Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/3/2010 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
So I have been working out again but I had been walking instead of running on the treadmill and lifting hand weights. Well the last couple of days I decided to up it to a jog and again soon after I felt sick. This isn't just a coincidence and there has to be something to it if it keeps happening. Is it the jogging motion that gets the acid moving and that is making me feel ill? Any info will help! Thanks

couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/3/2010 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
If your LES is weak the acid is sloshing up into your esophagus.
Joy

dencha
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 11/4/2010 7:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Yup...Joy is right. Before my surgery, I would always walk on the treadmill or do exercise on an empty stomach. After eating it seemed much worse. I would think that if your LES is really weak and open, you could reflux acid even when you haven't eaten. In my experience it was much worse after a meal, so I started doing my workouts before eating.
Good luck!
Denise

Tinlou
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Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/4/2010 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
dencha, what were your symptoms? I started with the reflux/burping and nausea. I did eat breakfast, waited about an hour so I thought I was good. What surgery did you have?

dencha
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   Posted 11/4/2010 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tinlou,
I know it is hard to always have to schedule your workouts on an empty stomach, but I think it will be worth it. I didn't always have to do that, but as my reflux worsened, I found I could no longer work out after eating. Even an hour later isn't enough. Probably 2-3 hours would be fine.

I couldn't believe that even walking caused reflux after eating. My symptoms were mainly heartburn (severe at times) and breathing problems.

I had the Nissen Fundoplication surgery in February 2009. I'm very glad I did, because my lungs were in horrible condition because of reflux. The surgery has really made big difference. I'm having some issues now (it's a long story, but I was on steroids and coughing horribly after surgery, and it may have compromised my wrap...or, it could be too tight, and food is hanging out at the wrap site. Don't know...my lungs are still pretty good, but I'm getting a few symptoms, so I'm going to see a surgeon next week and discuss my issues. I'll probably get some testing done in hopes of uncovering any problems there might be.)

I hope you get things straightened out and are able to exercise without symptoms!
Take care,
Denise

Tinlou
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Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/5/2010 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like you have been through a lot! Thanks for the response and information, it is much appreciated.

dencha
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 11/5/2010 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tinlou,
I'm doing fine...I just don't want to wait if my lungs are being affected even a little.
I hope you find an answer to your exercise dilemma!
Have a great weekend.
Denise

newlywrapped
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Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/7/2010 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I had that similar experience prior to surgery. I am a group fitness instructor at a a gym. All the hopping around and GERD are not a good combination. I would have reflux while instructing in the microphone. So embarrassing!!! You should be careful with reflux and exercise. I am just about convinvced that having reflux during heavy exercise can cause aspiration of the refluxed liquid. There does seem to be a connection between asthma and GERD. I was diagnosed with "exercise induced asthma" just this year. Strange since I have never had asthma and my lungs are in great shape!

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/8/2010 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Newlywrapped, thanks for the info. You are the second person who mentioned surgery but I am really trying to avoid it if i can. Did it really help a lot and would you recommend it?It is really annoying when all we are trying to do is take care of ourselves. Jogging on the treadmill is a big no-no and stomach crunches are as well! I have been walking on an incline and using the stationary bike but it is still frustrating.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/8/2010 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Tinlou,
I helped me a great deal! I was coughing for 3 years before the doctors decided it was acid getting into my lungs. No coughing now except when I get near an irritant.
Joy

newlywrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/8/2010 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Tinlou,

I haven't exercised since my surgery. I've only been out for a week. I will let you know how it changes my exercise habits and asthma.

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/9/2010 10:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Joy and newly..btw did either of you experience burning throat from reflux? A sudden symptom for me..ugh!

newlywrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/9/2010 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I did have some burning and sore throat prior to getting on Nexium and changing my diet and eating habits. Nexium heals the damage.

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/9/2010 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
My doctor wanted to give me nexium but for some reason my insurance doesn't cover it and it is really expensive. I have been taking otc zegerid and it helps with the heartburn but now my throat has started burning. I don't know how to tell if it's from Gerd or just a throat infection of some sort. Gosh GERD is crazy with so many symptoms that relate back to it that it is hard to keep up sometimes.

newlywrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/9/2010 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you tried Prevacid or Prilosec? Both are PPIs like Nexium and are OTC.

newlywrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/9/2010 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh sorry. Just realized that Zegerid is a PPI :-(

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/9/2010 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually I have, just short term though. Maybe I will try again. Thanks for the help!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/9/2010 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
If you've got throat burning you need to get a stronger med.
Nexium helped me for 7 years until the coughing started.
Joy

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/9/2010 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I think you are right Joy, time to call the doctor back. Are you on something different now?

speden
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 11/10/2010 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tinlou,

I think exercise is very important for controlling GERD, but you have to do it in the right way.

First thing to consider is you want to exercise when your stomach does not have food in it. Best times I've found are right after getting out of bed in the morning, or right before dinner.

Second thing is the type of exercise. You should avoid bouncy types of exercise where your whole body is in motion, like running or step aerobics. The best cardio exercise I've found is riding a stationary bike since it does not shake the stomach. Other good exercises are weightlifting where your body is kept vertical or inclined. You never want to do an exercise where you bend over or lie flat on your back. Some people say you should avoid abdominal exercises, but if your stomach is empty I think they are usually okay if used in moderation and done in a sitting position.

It's also important to stay hydrated, especially if you sweat a lot during the exercise. I usually drink a half a glass of water before exercising, and then drink a little more during the exercise. This will dilute any acid in your stomach during exercise, so that it won't do much damage if it sloshes out a little. Also it will keep your digestive system working smoothly since if you sweat and don't drink water, you can easily get constipated, and that won't help the GERD situation. One of the big benefits for GERD of exercising is that it energizes your digestive track to keep food moving quickly through it, so the last thing you want to do is get constipated or that destroys the benefit.

But you need to be careful not to drink too much or you'll fill up the stomach and cause acid to leak out. You kind of need to experiment to find the amount of water that works for you. Good luck and keep that exercise going!

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 11/10/2010 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
speden, thanks so much for that information. I found out the hard way that running is a big no-no. Leg presses at the gym and some stomach exercises also made me feel sick afterwards. I agree with you about not eating before I exercise because usually I do eat something and then work out not too long after. I won't be doing that anymore and see what happens. Thanks again!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/10/2010 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm off all anti-acids because of my surgery last December. :)
Joy
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