Anyone scared to eat?

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/11/2006 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all.  It is so good to find a site that offers so much support as this one does. 
My story.  I have had this feeling in my throat for awhile like something is stuck (not all the time).  Ignored it.  Then in November, I started feeling chest pains.  Well, in the middle of the night one night I had severe back pain between the shoulder blades.  I was terrified I was having  a heart attack and went to the doctor the next day.  EKG said no change from the last time and was started on Prilosec.  That got me through Thanksgiving.  I ate pretty much normally just smaller meals.
Then about 10 days ago, I had a severe chest pain attack in the middle of the night.  I had gone back to my overeating a bit for three days and I paid for it.  After three days of night pain, I went to the ER and was told once again that I had GERD.  Doctor started me on Aciphex and Carafate. I have taken the Carafate for 5 days and the Aciphex for 3.  I feel better but I am barely eating.  I am so afraid what I eat will cause me pain.  I mostly eat carbs -bread, bagels, rice.  Yesterday I went out with my family to dinner and ate a small chicken breast marinated in balsalmic vinegar and a few grilled squash things (zucchini, squash) and felt pretty good.
With Christmas coming and a trip to my in-laws, I am so afraid of eating something that will hurt me.  How do I know what I can and can't eat?  If I eat something I really like during the day well before bedtime (ig. spaghetti sauce) will it cause nighttime pain? 
Thank you all so much. I need to know how to cook for my family.  I don't want to deprive them of the foods thay all love.
BTW, one good thing is I have lost weight.  15 pounds in 4 weeks.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/11/2006 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
My experience with GERD stems mostly from GAD, but there are foods (such as tomato sauce, fried foods, barbeque sauce, spicy foods, citrus, and orange juice) that really bother me. If you eat well before you lie down and take an antacid, for the most part you should not have problems, but I would avoid those things until your stomach has been given time to heal.
I can eat these things sparingly now, but I have come up with clever ways to avoid these, such as ordering pizza and spaghetti with alfredo sauce instead of pizza sauce, avoiding Orange juice (apple juice and pear juice do not bother me), and not eating anything fried or spicy.
If you do have a flare-up, try drinking some water and eating some crackers or noodles. They are fairly mild and if you give your stomach something to digest, your symptoms will lessen. For me it is better to eat something mild than nothing at all.
I also had a significant weight loss (I dropped about 20 pounds over a period of a couple of months), but my weight is back up now. I was sick for so long I forgot what it was like to be able to eat, and now I have to watch my weight! (I call it the bad way to lose weight. I miss my skinny self!)
It will take some time for the medicine to start working, but with patience you will feel better. If you feel it isn't working, see your doctor again. (For example, I was on the Aciphex until it made me nauseous, but now am on Protonix, which does not bother me).
Don't fret about it, though! That makes it much worse for me. Just keep your meals small and mild, and stay away from what triggers it for awhile.

These all work for me, and I hope you feel better--I know exactly what you are going through!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 12/11/2006 11:49 PM (GMT -6)   

The first line of defense with GERD, especially if you're experiencing nighttime pain, is to raise the head of your bed up about 8 inches or sleep with a foam wedge so that you are not lying totally flat. That way gravity with help keep acid in the stomach. Doctors don't recommend propping up on pillows because then you are bending at the waist which can push acid up. Next, don't eat anything at least 3 hours before going to bed. These are the top two things to help keep nighttime GERD from happening. Even taking the medicines you can have breakthrough acid at night.

You are doing right by eating small meals...don't want to overload your stomach and push acid up. With the holidays coming, I know what you mean. Everyone else is gorging on holiday foods and we are afraid to eat anything. If you are taking the meds, just try a few of your favorite things in small quantity to see what happens. I have been totally off anything with sugar but today I ate a cookie and some home made candy and three hours later, I don't have any heartburn which I normally would have but I'm taking prevacid so I can fudge a little and it doesn't seem to hurt. I don't do this very often. The most important thing to stay away from with GERD is coffee, teas, alcohol,chocolate...anything that can stimulate acid production. It sounds like you are eating alot of breads and rice. Some of us do much better on a more alkaline diet and anything with white flour or high carb is very acid producing in your stomach. If you want to keep your stomach more alkaline than acid then your diet should be mostly fruits and vegetables (boring) and not much grain or meat. Quinoa and millet are two grains that do not produce acid. Some people get along fine on some low fat meats but I prefer soy proteins instead of meat which is acid causing in your stomach. For protein you can eat Garden Burgers or Boca burgers or tofu which are vegetarian meats and I really like them. You can google acid/alkaline foods and see some lists of various foods on the lists. It's a very limiting diet.

My husband and I are complete opposites as far as what we can eat. He likes lots of meats and carbs and not much vegetables so I understand how hard it is to cook for a family when you have diet restrictions.
It's a challenge but I basically make two different meals for him and me. We eat the same vegetables but he has his meat and I have my soy proteins or quinoa. White potatoe is alkaline but rice is acid producing.

With that being said, you still have to find what works for you. Each of us have different triggers that produce heartburn. One other thing, have you been to a Gastroenterologist yet? It sounds like some of your doctors are just making guesses at what you have and giving you the medicine for GERD. I would have it checked out by a specialist just to be sure you have GERD and not something else.

Keep us will get alot of help on this site...good health to you.


New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/12/2006 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies. 
I have raised my bed about 7-8 inches.  I hate it as I slide down at night and I can't sleep well on my left side.  Sometimes when I am sleeping on my side, my chest hurts, like there is too much pressure on it.  That happened last night.  Today my chest has hurt on and off.  The only thing I did differently today is i had maple syrup.  Last night I had a plain chicken breast and a plain baked potato.  Didn't think that would cause problems.
I do have an appointment scheduled with a Gastro guy but can't get in till Jan. 4.  Tomorrow I have my a stress echo scheduled to rule out my heart.  What else could it be if not GERD?
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