What causes severe heartburn?

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Posted on Mon, 5 Jan 2015 in GERD
Question: what can be done for severe heartburn, my husband is in pain and hasn't been able to sleep for 3 days with pain. we just did hog diet, could this be the reason why he is feeling heartburn and pain in his shoulders and upper body?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:
lifestyle changes , medication

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is possible that the diet , since it would be new meal plan, would have contributed to his symptoms.

Reflux can cause severe heartburn, regurgitation of food, vomiting, acid or bitter taste in the mouth, bloating, severe chest and upper abdominal pain.

Reflux is treated by lifestyle changes as well as medication

Treatment involves : (1)small frequent meals instead of large meals that stimulate more acid production
(2)waiting 2 hours after eating before reclining
(3)elevating the head of the bed if necessary
(4)reducing or eliminating spicy/citrus/fried foods

Foods that are included are caffeine, chocolate, mint, citrus fruits, tomato, onion, spices

(5)medication
There are different types of medication. The best are proton pump inhibitors because these suppress future acid production but they would not help with the acid that is already present. Examples are prevacid, prilosec, nexium, protonix
The maximum effect may take a few days in some persons but when kicks in better that other meds for reflux

Because his reflux is severe, he may want to combine one of these with a faster acting meds such as zantac or pepcid.

(6)avoid medication that would worsen symptoms such as ibuprofen, naproxen , aspirin

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16810 Questions

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