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Extreme heartburn
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Extreme heartburn

in the last two weeks I have experienced what seems to be extreme heartburn.  A little background info.  I was an avid smoker (31 years at 3 packs a day) and quite three months ago.  I overweight by about 30 pounds.  I am also having reoccuring canker sores in my mouth.  My heartbearn is occurring very frequently at about four or five times a day even when not eating, and i am going through Tums like 25 tablets a day.  I wake up in the middle of the night with heartburn.  Please help.
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Avatar m tn
Hi suzannacable,

You are having signs and symptoms of severe GERD. Disturbance of sleep because of reflux has to be taken seriously. GERD with night time symptoms can cause more complications.

You need to undergo
1. Upper GI endoscopy - might show complications of GERD like esophagitis
2. 24 hours pH monitoring - To confirm GERD.

Regarding treatment -
1. PPI twice a day before meals for 4-8 weeks
2. Life style modifications

Life style modifications include-

1. Head elevation while sleeping
2. Small frequent meals
3. Going to bed 2- 3 hours after food
4. Avoiding bed time snacks
5. Avoiding smoking and alcohol
6. Avoiding tight fitting clothes
7. Avoiding cola, citrus drinks, carbonated drinks, tea, coffee, spicy food
8. Weight reduction

The information provided is for patients’ education only and is not a medical advice. Always consult your personal physician for complete evaluation of your health problem.
- Ratnakar Kini M.D.

Avatar f tn
I have heartburn too.  What has been working for me is Apple Cider Vinegar.  About a tsp in a class of warmish water.  Sip it slowly.  The best vinegar is organic unfiltered, but I use Heinz.  If it dosn't work right away still keep sipping....  Other things to try are red apples, at least one every day... and carrots.  Be sure to chew your carrots at least 30 times!  If you have a juicer combine carrots, celery, and beets to make a akaline drink that your stomach will thank you for!

Be sure to raise the head of your bed at least 8 inches, and do not eat for 3 hours before you lay down... that's key.  Wear loose fitting clothing, and no bra if you can.  If you have to wear a bra skip the underwire.

As for canker sores, ouch.   Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a detergent commonly found in commercial toothpastes which may dry out the lining of the mouth and gums.  Stop using your toothpaste and mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and dip your brush into the paste.    Zink lozenges have worked to calm down canker outbreaks.

Hope this helps.
Avatar n tn
I'm afraid you need more help than the doctor suggests. I have the same problem and have discovered that gastroenteroligists are next to useless. I took their advice and used Nexium for nearly six months with no, not little, no relief. They gave me every other weapon in their pharmaceutical bag of tricks to no avail. So when it got so bad that I could get no relief I started taking advice from other sources and, lo and behold, I'm getting relief.

Here are some of the things that have helped me.
1. Water that has a low ph level, such as Evian and Fiji. I don't know if you have the same problem, but regular bottled water was burning my esophagus.
2. A teaspoon of honey on a small slice of bread before meals and a teaspoon of honey before bed.
3. A tablespoon of Chlorophyll twice a day.
4. George's pure aloe vera.
5. Eat alkaline producing foods.
6. Do not eat meat until the burning stops for a couple of days. Don't eat anything that's rough like salads and bread. Eat all grains sparingly except buckwheat (which really isn't a grain) and millet. Stay away from apples which can cause blisters in the mouth despite what some idiot websites tell you to do. Don't eat the usual suspects like oranges and tomatoes. Tea doesn't help either, green, white or black.
7. Cabbage and potato juice.
8. Probiotics.
9. Slippery elm and marshmallow root herbs.
10. Soy lecithin.
11. Stay away from proton pump inhibitors. I won't say they'll do any harm, but they are an awful waste of money.
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