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Acid reflux

By December 31, 2009 - 3:11pm
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I have acid reflux the doctor said it is gastric with no testing done on me. I am on Zantac twice a day, i don't understand how or why this happened to me. All i know is i feel lousy... I really can;t eat much cause i get so full fast. Does anybody know what i can take that is natural that would help me.Thanks

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Went for a upper GI showed suspicion of inflammation and thickening H-ployri still not back doc put me on preacid once a day,anyone going through this also, how are you coping and know any thing to read on what to eat what not to eat....Also does this have anything to do with being lactose or your body not being alkalined. Thanks

January 17, 2010 - 6:19am
(reply to mylink)

Were you able to read the great information that Pat provided to you? She included numerous "what to eat" and "what not to eat" suggestions above.

Inflammation of the GI can be caused by many things, so please let us know when your test results come back. I will continue reviewing the medical literature for some information to send to you, but until we know your test results, it is very vague what could be causing the inflammation.

I am confused by your last question: are you lactose-intolerant? Are you wondering if you are, or has this been diagnosed? If this has been diagnosed, do you have any treatment for this, or do you avoid lactose-containing foods?

January 17, 2010 - 2:03pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi mylink - If your doctor is testing for the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) she is trying to determine if you have an ulcer. Most ulcers are caused by, or come as a result of a Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection.

You can learn more about H pylori at the following links:




If you'd like additional information after reading these articles just let us know.
Take care, Pat

January 4, 2010 - 5:32pm

Went to a woman doctor for my symptoms of acid reflux she sent me for blood work to see if its H-pylori which they said will be about 4 weeks for results . Has anyone heard of h-pylori. Thanks

January 4, 2010 - 9:03am
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi mylink -
As Alison said, it's surprising to find that no diagnostic tests were performed. There are a number of symptoms associated with acid reflux, and you haven't mentioned them. Zantac is typically prescribed for tough heartburn cases, so why don't we take a look at heartburn and see if that's what you're dealing with.

Please read the information below, which also includes some natural suggestions for dealing with acid reflux. Let us know if the description and symptoms reflect what you've been experiencing. Also, have you seen any changes or relief from your discomfort since starting the Zantac? Having this information will help us determine the next steps to help you. Take care, and thanks for writing.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the lower chest. It is the main symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease. It occurs when gastric juices from the stomach flow up into the esophagus (tube connecting the mouth to the stomach).

Food travels down the esophagus to the stomach. The opening between the esophagus and stomach opens to let food enter the stomach. Normally, it closes as soon as the food enters the stomach. With heartburn, the opening does not close tightly. Stomach acid flows into the esophagus (called acid reflux), causing a burning sensation. Other causes include diseases that interfere with food passing through the esophagus or cause excess acid production.

Certain risk factors increase the chance of having heartburn. They include:
* Being obese
* Being pregnant
* Having a hiatal hernia —a weakening in the diaphragm (large muscle separating the thorax and the abdomen) causing the stomach to partially slip into the chest cavity. It is a common disorder, which increases the chance of reflux.
* Exercising immediately after eating (especially jogging or running)
* Smoking
* Using alcohol
* Eating chocolate
* Drinking carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages, and decaffeinated coffee
* Eating high-fat or high-carbohydrate foods and spicy foods
* Taking certain medications, including:
o Anticholinergics
o Calcium channel blocking agents
o Theophylline
o Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
o Quinidine
o Tetracycline
o Potassium and iron supplements
o Anti- osteoporosis agent alendronate
* Having prior surgery for heartburn, including gastric reflux surgery and vagotomy
* Having asthma and using asthma medications
* Having and treating a peptic ulcer
* Having certain diseases, including diabetes , cancer , scoliosis , cystic fibrosis , and nervous system diseases
* Having defects in the respiratory system or gastrointestinal system
* Having food allergies

Heartburn symptoms usually occur after overeating or lying down after a big meal. They may last for a few minutes or a few hours. The severity of symptoms depends on the reason why the opening does not close, the amount of acid entering the esophagus, and how much the saliva is available to neutralize it.

Symptoms include:

* Burning feeling that starts in the lower chest and may move up the throat
* Feeling that food is coming back up
* Sour or bitter taste in the throat
* Pain that increases when bending over, lying down, exercising, or lifting heavy objects

Other symptoms and complications of reflux include:

* Sore throat
* Hoarseness
* Chronic cough
* Feeling of a lump in the throat
* Asthma
* Hoarse voice ( laryngitis )
* Waking up with a sensation of choking

If reflux persists, the acid can damage the esophagus. Symptoms of esophageal damage include:

* Bleeding and ulcers in the esophagus
* Difficulty swallowing
* Vomiting blood
* Black or tarry stools
* Inflammation and scarring of the esophagus
* Barrett's esophagus —This is a precancerous condition of the esophagus that has no unique symptoms, but can be diagnosed by periodic endoscopic examinations.
* Dental problems (due to the effect of the stomach acid on the tooth's enamel)


Heartburn can feel like the pain associated with a heart attack . Never assume that chest pain is heartburn or ingestion. Seek medical care if you're not sure.

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Tests may include:

* Upper GI series —a series of x-rays of the upper digestive system taken after drinking a barium solution
* 24-hour pH monitoring—a probe placed in the esophagus to keep track of the level of acidity in the lower esophagus. This is done over a 24-hour period.
* Manometry—a test that measures muscle pressures in the lower esophagus
* Endoscopy—looking at the esophagus and stomach through a thin, lighted tube that is passed down the throat. This procedure lets the physician take tissue samples.
* Biopsy —removing a small sample of esophageal tissue to measure the amount of acid or pressure in the esophagus


Treatment aims to decrease the number of episodes of heartburn and its complications. Treatment focuses on stopping the flow of acid back into the esophagus and neutralizing or decreasing production of stomach acid.

Treatment may include medication which may include:
* Over-the-counter antacids—to neutralize stomach acid. They work quickly but can cause problems with long-term use. Examples include Maalox, Tums, Rolaids, and Mylanta.
* Over-the-counter H2-blocker drugs—to stop the stomach from producing as much acid. These include Tagamet, Pepcid, and Zantac.
* Prescription drugs—to suppress acid production or reduce the chance of acid entering the esophagus. These are called proton-pump inhibitors and include omeprazole and lansoprazole.
* Medications that coat and protect the lining of the stomach (sucralfate)
* Medications that improve muscle tone in the lower esophageal sphincter (Reglan)

Several lifestyle changes can help prevent heartburn. Suggestions include:
* Keeping a food diary of what you eat and what the reaction is. Make gradual changes to your diet and record the results.
* Avoiding foods that provoke symptoms, such as:
o High-fat foods
o Spicy foods
o Onions
o Chocolate
o Peppermint
o Citrus fruits
o Tomatoes
o Peppers
o Alcohol
o Coffee
o Carbonated drinks
* Eating smaller portions, since large meals increase the chance of heartburn.
* Allowing at least two or three hours between meals and bed or nap time. This allows the stomach to partially empty before you lie down.
* Not smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking relaxes the muscle, allowing stomach acid into the esophagus.
* Avoiding belts and clothing that are too tight. This may increase the pressure in the abdomen.
* Elevating the head of your bed 6-8 inches.
* Avoiding overeating.
* Sitting up for 2-3 hours after eating.
* Chewing sugarless gum for about 30 minutes after a meal. This will increase saliva flow, which can neutralize stomach acids in the esophagus.
* Obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight.
* Learning and practicing stress-management techniques.

December 31, 2009 - 5:33pm

I am surprised that there were no diagnostic tests performed, as there are many types of reflux.

Let us do a little research, and we will send you some information soon.

December 31, 2009 - 3:38pm
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