Our expert says:
I am sorry to hear that you are suffering from acid reflux, which is a most debilitating condition to cope with. The symptoms you list are classical for acid reflux. The Nexiam your doctor has prescribed is what is know as a proton-pump inhibitor. This medication should improve your symptoms, but if you have taken the prescribed course and your symptoms have not cleared up, please return to the dr because you may need a longer treatment period. If you have been seeing a gp, then it may also be a good idea to ask him/her to send you to a gastroenterologist for further examination. You can also use an antacid like Ulsanic or Gaviscon to reduce the acid production in your stomach esp during the night. I think it would be advisable to first get your gastric reflux under control before you start a slimming diet. First things, first! If you suffer from gastric reflux and/or GERD (also called GORD), then you will react more to certain foods than to others. This is usually an individual reaction - one patient will develop heartburn after white bread, the other after brown bread. Click on 'Diet' at the top of this page to access the 'Diet section of the Health24 site' and then on 'DietDoc's articles' and read article 195 on 'GASTRO-OESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GORD) & DIET'. In general here are some pointers regarding excess acid production: Heartburn, acid reflux and also stomach ulcers, are caused by excess acid production in the stomach and if the patient has food in the stomach this give the acid something it can work on instead of attacking the stomach lining. In fact, the use of 6 smaller meals a day is a good idea when suffering from heartburn or ulcers because this would mean that the patient practically always has some food in his stomach to prevent acid erosion. Try to should split up your main meals into 2 smaller meals each. One of the most important factors in excess acid production and heartburn is stress. If you suffer from heartburn, you will have to experiment with the foods you eat that may cause problems (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, very fatty foods, etc and all alcohol). This is often an individual reaction and you will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is too difficult, then please consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will help you pinpoint trigger foods and work out a diet that avoids them. If you consult a dietitian you can also ask her/him to assist you with a slimming diet which avoids your trigger foods. To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension.
I do hope you will soon start feeling a lot better.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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