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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Indigestion, Acid reflux (?), irritated stomach


 Musicallyspeaking - Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:50 pm

Hello,

I'm 25 years old (F) quite healthy besides occasional IBS (D) which has improved greatly over the past few months for whatever reason (yay!). I am currently taking Allese. My mother has terrible stomach problems (ulcers, diverticulitus, GERD, etc).

Here is what has happened to me:

About 2 weeks ago, I began a new diet (basically monitoring my calories and eating more whole wheat foods and more vegetables). I began to get indigestion a bit but ignored it instead of taking antacids. This went on about 4 or 5 days before I became annoyed as it was worsening and becoming more constant. I began popping tums, etc. Now, I have heartburn constantly!

It has really began to bother me and I'm concerned. Friday and Saturday I took one zantac in the morning but it did nothing really.

On Sunday a pharmacist recommended I take two zantacs twice per day and have a tblsp full of maalox after each meal for one week and see if that heals it. If not I should go to the doctor and be prescribed something stronger to heal the inflamed tissues. I have been doing this and it provides some relief but my burning throat is still there. Last night I had a tomato sauce with pasta and downed a bunch of maalox so it would stop burning. Ouch! No more tomatoes for me!

It is most 'burny' when I haven't eaten for a while, and my throat burns quite a lot. In the morning when I wake up it is fine. It's as soon as I start eating that it burns. However, when I haven't eaten for a while during the day it gets worse. Overall, my stomach doesn't bother me as much as my burning throat. When I breathe it feels 'hot' and that is weird and uncomfortable.

I get a small amount of relief from drinking water and plain tea (no caffeine).

My question to you: does this sound like Acid reflux disease or like my stomach was angry at my new food routine and I should have listened and taken antacids to begin with? (Basically, is it irritated and now I need to heal it somehow?)

Any other recommendations before I hit the doctor at the end of the week? Should I wait longer or try something different first before going and being prescribed something stronger? I don't want to go and the doctor give me 'the look' that I should have waited longer or tried something else first.

Thank you for any advice you could offer me! I really appreciate it! I'm actually quite scared and I know it's silly but I'd appreciate any comforting words and 'don't worries' you could offer as well! hahah!
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:28 am

User avatar Hello,

I hope you are feeling better by now.

Heartburn is usually defined as a feeling of burning below the sternum that radiates toward the neck from the epigastrium. Patients may use other terms including "indigestion" and "acid regurgitation." Heartburn commonly occurs within an hour of meals or within 2 hours of reclining, especially if the patient has eaten a late snack.

Heartburn is commonly caused by the regurgitation of gastric acidic contents into the esophagus.

Pregnant women are commonly affected. Heartburn may be precipitated by foods that either decrease the lower esophageal sphincter pressure or cause direct mucosal irritation of the esophagus. It may also be precipitated by maneuvers that increase intraabdominal pressure (eg, lifting, bending, straining at stool, and exercise). Cigarettes potentiate heartburn by lowering the lower esophageal sphincter pressure and through relaxation of the sphincter during air swallowing.

Patients with a dominant complaint of heartburn are likely to have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, in patients who complain of a number of symptoms including heartburn and other associated dyspeptic symptoms (eg, pain, bloating, nausea), the diagnosis of GERD is less certain.

Because heartburn is caused by the regurgitation of gastric acidic contents into the esophagus, it can be transiently improved by antacids.

Your case appears to be more like GERD-like dyspepsia or a just a transient gastritis.

Best regards.

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