Our expert says:
Heartburn is an indication that your stomach is producing too much acid and that some of this acid is being forced up into the oesophagus to cause the symptom of heartburn or gastric reflux. You should have a medical checkup so that the dr can diagnose what is causing your gastric reflux and prescribe the necessary medications (proton pump inhibitors and/or antacids). 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 if you need to visit a medical doctor for medications that reduce acid production. To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises to lessen tension. Although running is an excellent sport, it can contribute to stress.
I do hope you will soon start feeling a lot better.
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