Smoking, I believe, can really exacerbate GERD. I understand how hard it is to quit, but do you think you could have a go at it? I quit a long time ago, by slowly cutting down over a month or 2. It will help your health probably more than anything else you could do.
about raising the bed.....try getting several pieces of a 2x4 and cutting them, and putting them under both legs of the head of the bed to about 6" high. You want to still have your bed flat, but raised at the head. If you put something under your head, sometimes it bends you at the waist too much, and can actually cause more reflux problems.
Of all the things I've heard and read, the best thing to do for GERD is to cut out caffeine, chocolate, tomato products, and spicy things.......but what seems to help alot is to really reduce your consumption of simple carbs (bread, pasta, pastries, etc.). One theory is that modern man eats too many simple carbs and we can't digest them fast enough and they just sit there and ferment, and that causes the acidic back-up.
I wish I could remember the recipe.....but someone on this forum a few years ago wrote that he used a combination of something like cayenne pepper and something else, and he would drink that, and it would help his reflux. I couldn't believe that, but he swore by it. Maybe you could do an internet search on natural ways to deal with reflux?
Many of us seem to go through weird times in our lives when our bodies misbehave. Sometimes its almost impossible to ever figure out the cause of it, so we just have to do the best we can. For you, I think the best thing would be to try to cut back or quit smoking, and really educate yourself about what foods cause reflux and which ones don't.
There's alot of great info on the internet about GERD and different ways of trying to deal with it.
Maybe you're in a really remote area and some of the best of modern medicine hasn't reached you yet.
But Hopefully, your next doctor will be more on the ball than your last one.
Just remember though that sometimes modern medicine just pushes pills on us without having a more holistic approach to the problem. That's why its up to you to try to learn things that might help yourself, even when the docs can't. (That comment by your doc about your stomach "feeling" inflamed is sort of crazy. When I had my upper endoscopy, I had horrible heartburn. I was sure it was raw in there........but the camera showed that it was fine!)
Why don't you start with a food diary. Keep track of what you eat, and what reactions you might get to them. Remember......sometimes we don't have a reaction to a food for 24 hours.
Also keep track of your activities, medications, sleep, etc., and see if you can't figure out why your reflux has gotten so bad.
Just remember to try not to eat or drink anything 4 hours before laying down.
Do you have any other medical problems? You said you were sort of thin. Do you think you might have a thyroid problem?