Our expert says:
I am sorry to hear that you have a hiatus hernia which can cause unpleasant symptoms. My copy of MIMS lists gastro-intestinal disturbances as side-effects of Nexiam. This could possibly include constipation. Have you had constipation all the time or only now after starting the treatment? if the latter applies, then you may need to take a mild laxative, like Fybogel, to counteract this effect, but please ask the dr who is treating you to prescribe the laxative because you don't want to take anything that makes the acid reflux worse. 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 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. 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. If you can no longer run (which can be stressful) you can probably still go for brisk walks in the fresh air, because this should also help to relieve tension. Another exercise which may be more relaxing, is swimming provided you can find a heated pool right now when it is so cold.
I hope you can reduce the acid reflux and start feeling better soon.
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