Heartburn, GERD, Acid reflux disease or whatever you want to call it are terms that are used to describe anything from mild indigestion to severe digestive distress that feels like a heart attack. I do not have, nor have I ever had an ulcer, H-pylori or any other stomach ailment but I have been treated for acid reflux for 30-years.
I am unusual in that I just feel constantly hungry if I do not treat my acid reflux daily. I know I am not hungry because I will have just had a meal. Thirty minutes can go by and I will feel famished. This just can’t be. Since we all look after our weight it is not so good for me that I should want to eat all the time. I take one little pill each morning for heartburn before I brush my teeth to prevent this unrequited hunger.
The symptoms of acid reflux should be considered as much more than just an inconvenience. Sufferers run the risk of having their esophagus wear away by the unwanted acid, bile and pepsin that is produced in the stomach to aid in normal digestion. What is not normal is that this same bile, acid and pepsin can “back up” into the throat and cause a burning sensation and inflame the esophagus, your throat. Prolonged symptoms can damage your throat and even cause cancer. You can even experience heart attack like symptoms as well as, the more common, throat confined throw up.
Treatment could be as easy as taking an over the counter medication like Zantac or Prilosec. Both of these drugs used to be obtained by prescription only but the patent ran out so it is now offered at your drug store over the counter. You may have to ask someone to help you since they keep these and other costly medications locked in special cabinets that require an attendant?s assistance.
In the event that your neighborhood pharmacist cannot help provide relief for your stomach acids you will need to see a doctor to rule out other more serious stomach issues. An internist or a gastrologist is recommended since both treat those areas of the body. A gastrologist is a stomach doctor. Diagnostic tests will usually need to be ordered and they are not cheap so make sure that both the doctors and the clinics that do the testing are on your insurance and in network. Take nothing for granted.
Treatment could be as simple as a more powerful prescription drug like Prevacid or something else. No matter. You should get looked at immediately!
Those that have acid reflux usually never get over it. I guess you could say there is no cure. They must learn to live with it like I did. I take one pill a day since I was 19 and sweat by it.
Generally after meal time is when most people feel the effects of acid reflux. The contents of their stomach trigger the digestive acids that are required to digest food normally. What goes wrong for sufferers is that the biles and acids are not confine to the stomach but regurgitate into the throat. It affects some people a lot more severely than what I experience. For some it is so bad it is likened to a heart attack. Why not get treated? Why would you wait around and not take care of yourself? What is stopping you?
I had a Tums devouring brother who didn’t realize he had a serious problem until I finally asked him what was the deal. He said he hadn’t noticed how much he depended on Rolaids and Tums. He takes a pill a day (and sometimes two on Thanksgiving of Super Bowel Sunday) and he doesn’t feel the symptoms anymore.