I am 18 and I've been diagnosed with GERD for awhile now. I just want to post this here because I want to know whether anyone is in my boat.
I've visited the ER twice for chest pains. They did an EKG the first time and told me my heart was normal. I have a really healthy lifestyle (at least all the way up to college, where I'd indulge in midnight snacks and not alcohol - I know alcohol would kill my stomach), I make sure I eat healthy, the one big mistake I've always made was eating big meals and eating too quickly. For the past years, I haven't had much GERD symptoms, since my lifestyle was low stress.
Since then, school got tougher and I went to college, where I was put under immense amount of stress. The first semester was alright, since my body was still able to handle this change. Second semester (and now this is the summer after), I began to feel ill from acid reflux. Towards the end of the semester, I was definitely having bad days where I couldn't go on dates with my boyfriend without feeling sick after eating.
I was recently diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. After struggling with pain under my ribcage (on the left side) and constant heartburn, I've come to terms that it's the combination of the ulcer and GERD. My ulcer is getting better now, I'm taking nexium regularly again, but my chest pain has not. It's a dull pain and it's pressured, which I'm sure all of you GERD sufferers are familiar with. Luckily, I don't always have a sore throat or other symptoms that affect my quality of life too much but I still have gas in my stomach that I have to release at times.
I'm not going to worry too much and look into natural remedies for my symptoms (and I still believe that I can one day stop depending on medicine). I'd appreciate it if you could share your story with me, especially how to deal with chest pains. My boyfriend and mom have seen that I've become more worrisome and emotional over my health, and I'm sad that I can't be myself with them. I've also changed my diet and stopped eating big meals in a short amount of time.
The best things I did to help with this was to stop the late night eating and avoid those foods I know cause flare-ups. Normally, I never eat after 7:00 and never eat chocolate at night at all. I have also stopped eating spicy or fried foods at night or before lying down. The other thing that helped me was lifting the head of my bed about 4 inches. I'm not saying that this will fix the problem totally, because I still take Prilosec OTC (generic) instead of Nexium, but my symptoms have definitely improved and I used to have the same problem with chest pains, even went through several different heart exams.
Thanks for your answer! I have found that chocolate is one of my flare-up foods too, sadly, and I had a little too much the other day. I find all your advice useful and I have already taken all of that out of my diet. I also sleep on a wedge pillow and that's helped. I hope your symptoms stay controlled and I hope to lower my dosage (or switch to a weaker pill) after this episode. Does anyone know whether a low-carb diet would help?
I hope everyone is feeling better. Since my first post, I have been improving and tracking what I'm eating carefully. I want to start documenting foods that are GERD friendly. I will definitely return when my repertoire increases.
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