Posted by: Candy | 2009-07-31

Can' t sleep - indigestion

Hi Diet Doc
My Husband has been sufferring when he eats late at night (after about 7pm). When he sleeps he always wakes up choking and then he needs to eat a piece of bread or drink coke to " push the food down"  he has been taking Gaviscon for a long time now as well as Lansoloc.

Should he go to a specialist for an endoscope(which specialist - a nutritioniost ?....please advise.

do you think he may have ulcers?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Candy
I think that your husband may suffer from ulcers and/or gastric reflux disease. In this case, I would recommend that he should first see a gastroenterologist (a medical specialist who has specialised in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract), so that the dr can do a scope to see what is causing this reflux and prescribe the correct treatment. You can ask your gp to refer you to a gastroenterologist. Once he has been diagnosed it will also be beneficial to consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). In the meanwhile 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. He should split up his main meals into 2 smaller meals each. One of the most important factors in excess acid production and heartburn is stress. If your hubby suffers from heartburn, you will have to experiment with the foods he eats 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 he will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If he finds that this is too difficult, then please consult a clinical dietitian, who will help him pinpoint trigger foods and work out a diet that avoids them. To relieve stress I would recommend that your husband 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.
Best regards

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