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Suggest treatment for GERD and heartburn

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2834 Questions
I am suffering with either gerd or heartburn. I get chest pains and nothing else after I eat something. about half hour after.i can take baking soda and water and it will go away in about 10mins. I can take 2 zantac and it will go away.but it comes back. I can be walking and I will get it again. I have had it for about a week and a half.if I don't eat I don't get it.I just got over a cold, but still have sinus problems with phlem and runny nose.was taking mucinexdm for cough when I had the cold, and take benydryl at night.don't know if that started the cause.
Tue, 17 Apr 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I suspect the trouble maker for you was the Mucinex-DM, particularly if it was in a large pill form. It may have irritated your stomach or lower esophagus.

I recommend skipping the baking soda as it won't heal the irritation. Instead, try the following:

1. Take Zantac 150 mg twice a day or 300 mg at bedtime (total of 300 mg in a 24 hour period). But take this on a schedule rather than in response to the heart burn. It may take 1-2 weeks of taking it to resolve the problem, depending on how much irritation there is. Zantac reduces acid production by approximately 70% which allows the tissues to heal.

2. Dietary modifications:
Avoid foods that are acidic such as citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruit) and tomatoes.

Eat smaller amounts but more frequently. This will decrease the pressure in the stomach that can increase reflux, while keeping some food in it so that it is more comfortable.

No mint. I know that sounds like a strange recommendation, but mint can have a relaxing effect on the lower esophageal area which can result in increased reflux.

No alcohol. And decrease or avoid caffeine. No ibuprofen or naproxen, and if you must take aspirin for a heart condition, take it with food and only the minimal amount which is usually a baby aspirin.

Be upright (not reclining) for 2-3 hours after eating.

If you like to try alternative practices in addition to the medical (i.e. Zantac) you can also use deglycrrhizinated licorice (not regular licorice) which you can find at Whole Foods if you have one near you, or a health food store. Some research has shown this supplement to help heal the lining of the upper digestive tract. If you are on anything that lowers your potassium, such as certain diuretics, or if you have any history of adrenal issues, then don't take it.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.

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