Acid, acid we all fall down

'That's the worst case of acid reflux I've ever seen!'
‘That’s the worst case of acid reflux I’ve ever seen!’

For anyone who has never experienced acid reflux, it goes something like this:

You are exhausted after a long day at work,  brain dead from listening to people complain all day.  You curse the guy in the car front of you who is going all of 12 mph.  Your stomach is growling at you like a bear just out of hibernation.

You finally pull up to your little closet of an apartment.  You hear, for the umpteenth time, your neighbors latest favorite song, and it is like broken glass smashing into your aching head.

You head straight to the refrigerator.  It is now 7:30 pm.   You scan the shelves, and then the freezer.  Nothing appeals to you.  Then, you spot that container of left over spaghetti you made last weekend.  Stifling a yawn, you throw it into the microwave for a few minutes, while you fight off your starving cats with one foot as you try to balance precariously on the other.  Once you feed them, they pass out in contentment.  You should be so lucky.

You check your email-oh, there’s one from your boss.  You feel your blood pressure rising.  Beep goes the microwave.  Throwing the pasta into a bowl, you pour yourself a glass of well deserved wine, and sit down in front of the tube.

Scanning the 425 channels you are paying highway robbery for, you settle on something inane, and dig into your meal.

Just then, your hubby drags in.  He is the only good part of your day.  He is just as beat as you are, and collapses on the sofa, telling you about his day.

Finishing your pasta and wine, you feel bloated.  Stifling a belch, you settle in to binge watch your favorite show.

At 10:30 you are off to bed.  Kissing your hubby goodnight, you turn over and start to drift off into a peaceful slumber.

Suddenly, you sit bolt upright in bed, your chest burning and your mouth filling with what was once your dinner. You cough and cough, trying to clear your throat of the hellfire that is slowly trying to consume you.   It takes about 2 hours of sleeping sitting up, your head at an uncomfortable angle, to finally stop the acid attack.  You spend a fitful night and are exhausted the next day, and hoarse from the acid burning your throat.

All of the things I described-stress, traffic, eating late, eating acidic food and drinking alcohol-can all add up to disaster.  Prescription antacids like Prilosec and Prevacid have side effects; and they stop your body from producing acid.  So when you try to stop taking them, you get a horrible rebound effect.  Over the counter antacides like Tums don’t really work.  Something like Pepcid works to a degree.  There are some things you can do to prevent and treat acid reflux.

  • Try not to eat too close to bedtime
  • Avoid acidic and greasy foods when possible
  • Try to deal with stress
  • Elevate the head of your bed
  • If you take PPI’s (Prilosec or Prevacid) watch for side effects.  Try not to take them long term
  • I found that taking mastic gum really helps with acid and stomach upset

Acid reflux is no joke.  It can cause all kinds of esophogeal damage if not treated correctly. Buf if you do take PPI’s try not to take them for more than 14 days.  If you are trying to get off of them, there are a number of websites that can give you guidelines.  Luckily I have been succesful in finally stopping Prilosec.  I have been taking the mastic gum and also pepcid.  I will be tapering off of both of them and then hopefully I will be acid reflux free.

Acid can be a trip (ha ha).  Don’t have a bad one.  Learn how to reduce and prevent acid reflux.  Your stomach will thank you.

Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor when stopping or starting medication.  Information in this blog is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.  















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