I would like to start off to say that im a 38 year old male with less than acceptable eating habits. So for this post I would like to share some of the issues that I am having and also hear from you (which i hope are more seasoned in the symptoms for GERD) so that I can make a determination on how to proceed.
I remember being in my teens when i had my first episode with what I now know as heartburn. The times were VERY few and far inbetween and didnt really cross my mind until about 8 years ago when it started happening again.
At first I would get very mild heartburn with little discomfort after eating late at night and then going straight to bed. I paid it no heed and the pain would go away on its own as it was not enough to keep me from my sleep. I used to eat anything under the sun.
Fast forward to 4 years ago. My pain had worsened a lot and started to effect my sleep a bit, however a quick swig of antacid would fix it almost immediately.
Fast forward to 2 years ago to current. My eating habits started getting very bad, im not overweight, 200lbs at 5,10 but im not looking after myself. I would find that regularly the following wold happen.
I would eat dinner at 5:30pm and then snack anything at around 8:30pm. I would have discomfort almost every night at 11:30 pm just before bed. I would wake up EVERY NIGHT at EXACTLY the same time usually between 1 and 1:30AM. At this point I would have heartburn and would swig some antacid which immediately gets rid of the pain. This would be my nightly routine almost up until 2 months ago. During this period I would have about 1 episode a month were I would vomit up acid, almost like I was not able to keep it down.
2 months ago I had my first real scare. Pains in my chest area that simulated an oncoming heart attack. My doctors did an ekg which came out ok. My heart was fine, but he said that this pain is caused my heartburn as well. He prescribed zantac which over a 2 week period made me better. During these 2 weeks I had no problems with heartburn and had full nights rests for as long as i can remember. I am still sometimes taking zantac, but I am scared that I may get dependent on it.
Now, reading the above, what do you guys think I have? How should I approach this, diet, medication, etc? I know you might be loathe the give me medical advice but i would like to know how this measures up to your experiences.
THank you very much!