The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Acid Reflux Disease: What It is and How to Fix It: Another J.S. Brooks Public Service Announcement

Do you take a lot of antacid tablets? I mean, should you own stock in antacid companies because you invest so much in them.

Do you get frequent sinus problems and have a lot of post nasal drip?

Do many foods leave you feeling awful? 

Do you get a lot of heartburn ... you know, that burning pain that starts in your stomach and moves on up to your chest and even into your throat? 

How about that nasty, sour, bitter tasting acid backing up into your throat and mouth in a vile rush? 

Does it feel like food gets stuck in your throat, that you wheeze, have dry cough, are regularly hoarse, or have a sore throat most of the time? 

How about hiccuping and being unable to stop, or burping a lot, feeling bloated much of the time? 

How about the simple act of swallowing ... does it hurt?

Does some of this sound familiar? If so, you, my friend, may have acid reflux disease. 

Don't panic! There's a lot that can be done. See the doctor. Get a recommendation to see an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist. 

Acid reflux is caused when the valve at the top of your stomach either won't close all the way after food enters your stomach or opens too often, like a looney jack in the box. This allows those powerful stomach acids designed to break down food to rise up into your throat where they don't belong and create those nasty symptoms above. There are others ... but those above are enough to give you the picture. 

Aside from the medicines your doctor can provide you to bring you relief ... go, stop suffering ... here are things you can do to help yourself along the road to recovery. Be warned, this all takes time. Be patient. Remember, life without this misery is worth the sacrifices you're going to make ... and a few of them will be mightily disappointing. Still, do them. Be well.

Here are the foods you need to stay away from, listing the most disappointing first to get the shock out of the way right up front ... please don't stop when you see the first few. Denying them to yourself is worth it when you feel better, believe me, I know. 

Okay, let's go. The foods to avoid like the plague include:
  • Chocolate (Hang in there, it's bad, but white chocolate has no chocolate in it. See, it's not impossible.)
  • Carbonated drinks (Yeah, there goes your favorite soda, but stay strong.)
  • Caffeine (I know, for many of you I should have placed that first. Still, three days of headaches and you're cured.)
  • Citrus fruits and citrus fruit juices (Come on, you still have apple, grape, and other non-citrus fruits and juices.)
  • Alcohol (Yeah, even that.)
  • Dairy
  • Onions
  • Mint/Menthol
  • Tomato-based foods (includes Ketchup and sauces) and spicy foods and hot sauce (For me, these would be near the top, actually.)
  • Fatty foods
Believe it or not, that still leaves you with lots of good stuff to eat, even some candy, cookies, and delicious pastries ... and I'll be you can get away with a lean steak and some wonderful salmon as well. The most maddening part is in the first month when you eat things containing off limit foods you didn't realize were present. 

Okay, there are other life changes you can make to help out with the problem as well. 
  • Your smoking days are done if that is your other habit of choice. 
  • You'll need to take off the extra pounds if you have them (if you don't, don't talk to me ... but congratulations I say, begrudgingly.)
  • Exercise but don't lift weights (That hurts. I love weight lifting. But I also love the elliptical so I'll live.)
  • Don't eat 3-4 hours before bedtime. (Make dinner the last food of the day.)
  • Eat smaller meals spread over the course of the day. (No all you can eat buffets.)
  • Find a nice triangular pillow (big wedge-shaped things) that will elevate your head and chest.
  • This last one will seem ironic after all these don'ts ... reduce your stress levels. (Amusing, no?)
Okay, that's it. Do these things and you will feel better if you have acid reflux disease. Being better to that stomach and that body will make you happier and healthier in the long run. You'll have to deny yourself some things ... but think of the pain you're avoiding when you do. Best of luck to you.

If you are a speaker, you really need to deal with this. You will probably also need the advice in this post: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2013/09/coaxing-hoarse-voice-into-working-order.html

Another malady you should be aware of, if only to avoid, is shingles and you can be informed with this post: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2010/07/shingles-js-brooks-public-service.html

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