Constant Heartburn

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AmyPisces
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 12/25/2011 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm brand new here but I was hoping that maybe I can get some advice/help.

First of all, let me just say that I'm 25 years old, 5'7 and 190lbs. Heartburn problems run in my family, with both my mother and brother having problems. Mine just happen to be worse right now. I've seen my doctor and I've been on Nexium for almost a week. I also take tums and Gaviscon. But none of that is seeming to work. It seems like I have constant heartburn. Sometimes, it hurts so much that I need to take my bra off to feel comfortable. The heartburn usually seems to be centered slightly left and I sometimes get pains in my left arm. When I mentioned that to my doctor, he said that was because the nerves in my arm are next to the nerves for my esophagus, so they're effecting each other. Plus, my heart rate and breathing are normal as well. Right now, it's more on my right side (which is an odd sensation for me, since it's usually more left) and I just took some Gaviscon Liquid about 20 minutes ago.

It seems like nothing I do helps. If you need more information, I'll give it. Anything I could be doing? Should I go back to my doctor? I have the Nexium for a month.

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 12/25/2011 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
interesting. i also get the pains in my left arm, and was curious as to why, so thanks for posting that...

I'd give the nexium some more time, but also schedule a doctors revisit just in case it doesn't help out. Your symptoms seem to be as constant as and similar to mine. Hope you are feeling better soon. I am also in a rough patch so I can certainly sympathize.

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 12/25/2011 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Amy,

Merry Christmas to you, and a very warm welcome to HealingWell.com. I hope we can give you some much needed answers here!

Your symptoms mirror mine almost exactly when my heartburn issues first started about 7 months ago. I am 26, stand at 5'7" and weighed about 220 when this all first started. My aunt has the issues in my family, but my mother has a very sensitive stomach also. I also started having right-sided pain after I started taking the Nexium, how interesting.

I started getting heartburn at least a few times a week. So....

My first steps were to:
- go to the doctor and get Nexium, 40mgs per day
- stop eating 3-5 hours before bed
- avoid common 'trigger' foods (tomatoes, chocolate, red wine, soda, coffee, and spicy foods)
- eat smaller portions
- raise the head of my bed 6" (if you do this, it's usually better to raise the whole head of the bed with bricks - if you use pillows, you can fall off or inadvertently bend yourself in a way that you are actually putting more pressure on your tummy)

Those steps helped a little, but not a lot. The huge difference for me was when I started keeping a food diary - I really pinpointed some major triggers right there. I also recorded HOW I felt, and if I was having pain and/or discomfort, I would draw a picture of where.

Since all of this started, I have lost 55lbs and am following a vegan diet (as I believe dairy products were a huge trigger for my heartburn). When I follow my diet strictly, I have almost no symptoms and generally feel much better (almost normal). Whenever I want to have a little fun, however, is when the problems start. I still can't drink alcohol (pretty much at all) or eat chocolate or pizza (at all).

My doctor told me that the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that we're taking can take up to 2 months to be "effective". Its effectiveness seems to vary from person to person, as some here still have symptoms while on PPI's, but we have been thinking that the silent ones (AKA those who don't post on this site) may have a complete remission of symptoms. I hope this is the case for you :)

I would, as AcidRefluxMan suggested, give the Nexium time to start working. I would also do the other things suggested above (avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller portions, raising the head of your bed and keeping a food diary) in order to help yourself.

Please, feel free to ask questions here, as everyone on this site is here to help one another.

Welcome, Merry Christmas, and I hope you are feeling well!
Ashley

Post Edited (aeshleyrose) : 12/25/2011 4:53:32 PM (GMT-7)


AmyPisces
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 12/25/2011 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the welcomes!

I don't think dairy is my problem, as milk helps a bit and mac and cheese is one of the few things I can comfortably eat. But a journal wouldn't hurt, I'm sure.

I am feeling a bit better now than when I did earlier, but I'm still experiencing some pain :(.

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 12/26/2011 6:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I feel you! I was the exact same way, and when I misbehave, I still get that lasting, constant pain sometimes (like after Thanksgiving - I was like, "Really, GERD? Really?! You can't even calm down for $!@^% Thanksgiving?!?"). I'm definitely not out of the woods yet, but a food diary can help you identify triggers that you didn't even know were there, which can help you feel much better.

Best of luck! Keep us updated on how you're doing. This disease can make people feel isolated sometimes, so don't forget what we're all here for you.

Ashley

AmyPisces
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 12/26/2011 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I was doing ok today until I ate a banana. Now I'm in some pain :(.

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 12/26/2011 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Bananas are a common heartburn trigger food for some. Here is a list from WebMD, but again, you'll only find your personal triggers by recording how you feel after you eat certain foods. For instance, one of our members, Efit, can eat chocolate with no problems but pizza is a major problem for her. I can't even have a fingernail sized piece of chocolate, but a banana is fine for me. If I eat more than one, I'm in trouble.

From WebMD:
http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/features/top-10-heartburn-foods

Here is a handy list with some tips from about.com:
http://heartburn.about.com/od/goodfoodsbadfoods/a/foodscausereflx.htm

AmyPisces
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 12/26/2011 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks! I'll have a look at that and see what foods might be triggering me. If bananas are a trigger, then I'll be sad. I love bananas :(.

AmyPisces
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 12/26/2011 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
So through out the evening, it appears my acid pain is moving. Right now, I'm feeling it both just under my ribs and also up near my throat. I definitely felt myself go hoarse while I was on the phone, even though I wasn't talking much. I really hope my Nexium takes effect soon.

Does anyone else ever freak out that it's a heart problem or something other than heartburn/GERD? My mother has had both heart and acid problems and assures me that it's "only" heartburn, but it still freaks me out a little (I also have Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorder).
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