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Dizzy Dame

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Hi all,

I know that Dysautonomia affects the GI tract. I think I'm beginning to expierence the wrath! For the past two weeks, any time I lay down for more than 30 seconds, I get searing heartburn. I mean I can't sleep at night! It's beginning to hurt to swallow food too!

I had a few questions:

1. Could this a sign that my gallbladder needs special attention?

2. Can heartburn do real damage?

3. Can anyone guess how quickly I need to get to a doctor?

I ask the third question because my internist is on vacation for the next two weeks, so I'd have to go see a different doctor, or go to urgent care. If I need to take this heartburn seriously, I don't mind seeing someone else, but if this is no big deal, I'd rather wait.

Also, do any of you have home remedies for heartburn?

Thanks in advance,


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Hi Lauren...

hmm.. you got the heartburn monster invading your insides huh?? that really stinks!

I know that alot of the time I feel like i could blow fire out of my mouth just by breathing!! with all the burning going on in my throat!

I wanted to say until you can get into be seen by your doc.. you could try some over the counter anti-acids.. like prilosec is over the counter.. or pepeto bismol.. it can help too..

and you can try old faithful.. a tall glass of cold milk.. or several glasses .... that sometimes can help with the burning...

Depending on what is causing your heartburn.. and such.. and how long it has gone untreated.. Like I have GERD.. and it was left untreated for yrs.. and casued some problems with uh.. damage to the stomach and esophaugus.. b/c of acid and vomitting..

THre are tests that they can do to rule out GERD or some acid reflux.. I believe I had to do a barium swallow..(YUCKY :) ) and an Upperscope.. cant htink of the proper name for it though (?????)

oh and also dont eat alot of food at once.. that can make the heartburn worse too..

I would try something at home and see if it helps then get into see your doc monday or something.

good luck lauren hope the heartburn settles down..

linda aka. puff the magic dragon...!! LOL

Edited by dizzygirl
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I'm no doctor, but that doesn't sound like a gallbladder attack--it sounds more like what I experience with heart burn from reflux. Gallbladder attacks typically hit in the wee hours of the morning, like 3am, when your body makes all it's bile for the next day and deposits in your gallbladder. The pain of a gallbladder attack is astonishingly intense, ***** your breath away sharp, and NOTHING you do like lie down or sit up will make it stop. It stops when it stops.

You really need to be seen by a gastro doc to help you figure out what's going on. Untreated heartburn can be very bad, leading to serious problems of the esophagus. Long term, there are plenty of really good treatments out there. I take nexium twice a day and it makes every difference for me. I almost never get heart burn now.

Hope you're feeling better soon. In the interim, you can talk to your pharmacist-perhaps some otc meds that used to be just Rx items might help. Prilosec comes to mind as before I was on Nexium, I took Prilosec for many years without any problems.


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Guest Finrussak

When I had BAD reflux, many of the OTC's made it worse and also did not mix well with the other drugs I was on. I was given( by a holistic MD) DGL= a type of licorice with the chemical that makes blood pressure rise removed. It helped immensely. so did raising my bed and some toher things. I often refer to the following site for very good advice from a Harvard trained MD who runs a center in Arizona that trains other MDs to learn about and use holistic and alternative/safer treatments.

This does NOT replace going to a good GI guy but can give relief in the meantime...and help when you go to tell him what did or did not work for you. Plus others have already posted suggestions as well.

QUOTED/PASTED from www.drweil.com:

"For relief, I recommend deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which can soothe the lining of the esophagus and stomach. Chew two tablets slowly before each meal or between meals, or take one-half teaspoon of the powder before meals. Let it slowly trickle down your throat. You can continue to use DGL as long as you have symptoms. Here are some other lifestyle changes that can help:

Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. If you do take an occasional drink, be sure to eat something first.

If you smoke, stop -- tobacco can irritate the digestive system.

Avoid coffee and decaffeinated coffee.

Experiment with foods to see which ones trigger your symptoms and avoid any that do.

Don?t eat within two to three hours of bedtime, and don?t lie down after meals.

Eat frequent small meals rather than three large ones.

Elevate the head of your bed by six to eight inches (to prevent stomach acid from refluxing while you?re lying down).

You should also try to avoid drugs that can make reflux worse by decreasing the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter. These drugs include calcium channel blockers, nitrates, sedatives, and theophylline. Peppermint can have the same undesirable effect.

Conventional doctors probably will prescribe acid-suppressive drugs. I recommend using them only short-term or not at all, as they have significant side effects, are not intended for long-term use, treat the problem superficially, and cause rebound increase in acid production when you stop taking them.

Dr. Andrew Weil"

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I haven't had heartburn for the longest time and it feels fantastic. For YEARS I took Zantac 75 and it worked until my POTS began extremly acting up. I was seen by a ped. GI doctor and he prescribed Nexium...it worked fine but it began not too. I am now on Achiphex (sp??) and I love it. I don't have to take it every day, which is fine with me since I hate swallowing pills.

Peanut butter can help get rid of heartburn and also hic-cups

drinking milk can help also

you want to avoid tomato based products

This is from a pamphlet that my GI doctor gave me:

1. Stop using tobacco in all forms. Nicotine weakens the lower esophageal muscle.

2. Avoid chewing gum and hard candy. They increase the amount of swallowed air which in turn leads to belching and reflex.

3. Do not lie down immediately after eatring. Avoid late evening snacks.

4. Avoid tight clothing and bending over after eating.

5. Eat small portions of food at mealtime.

6. Elevate the head of the bed six to eight inches to prevent reflux when sleeping. Extra pillows, by themselves are not very helpful.

7. The following foods weaken the muscle valve in the lower esophagus, aggravate acid reflux and should be avoided:

fatty or fried foods

peppermint and spearmint

whole milk



creamed foods or soups

8. The following foods irritate an inflamed lower esophagus and may need to be limited or avoided:

citrus fruits and juices (grapefruit, orange, pineapple, and tomato)

coffee (regular and decaffeinated)

caffeinated soft drinks

9. The following foods strengthen the muscle valve in the lower esophagus and help prevent acid reflux:

low-fat, high protein foods

low-fat carbohydrates (breads, cereal, pasta, crackers)

calcium, as in fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt

Hope this helps you or someone else out!

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Guest Belinda

I also have acid-reflux and gastroparesis sometimes I wonder if that is what wakes me up with chest pain at 3:00a.m. too. I had endoscopy done it wasn't that bad, yes if left untreated acid can do great damage to esophagus. I currently take Protonix-supposedly it's the strongest. You can also take tums with it.

Ditto on the milk that seems to help. Pop can also contribute to the problem bubbly things.

Good luck-Belinda

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It does sound like you could have reflux, but your doctor should be the one to make that diagnosis, as you know. Even though your doctor is gone for 2 weeks, he or she will have another doctor "covering" for them. I would recommend calling the office on monday to describe your symptoms. You could even ask if a trial of over the counter prilosec, or something else would be OK. I have reflux and have swallowing problems because of it. I recently started prilosec and it really helps. It kicked in for me within a few days.

I know that digestive problems are associated with dysautonomias, but has anyone's physician acknowledged that our reflux is linked to POTS?

Gwedolyn, I really like your list. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Gwedolyn, I really like your list. Thanks for sharing it with us.

No problem, I just know that it has worked wonders and I was at the point to (before visiting my GI doctor) where I couldn't lie down without getting tremendous heartburn. The step that I've found a lot of help in is number 8. I love Orange Juice but it made it soooo much worse, I haven't had it in a while now.

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Yup- I've got GERD, too, and t'ain't fun! If you're desperate, OTC meds might help for a while. Pepcid, Zantac, Gaviscon all help me a little bit.. but Tums, Rolaids, and those don't do anything.

It can cause lasting damage to the esophagus, but they have an easy way of checking it with a little camera (endoscopy? I don't remember). It might be worth it to go to a Patient First kinda thing if you have those, so it's not an ER, or I'm sure you could get checked out by another doctor...but they should be able to write you a prescription if you need it. (Protonix was ambrosia to me, just so you know.)

There aren't foods that cause it in me, per se, but there are some that exacerbate it if it's happening already. Including ginger- for me, the spiciness of ginger, including ginger tea, hurt.

If you want to go on a date and have GERD, I suggest going to the pub where your date can drink beer and burp, so you won't look quite so unladylike when you burp, too! (LOL I'm teasing....)

Oh and in my recent experience, if it's gallbladder related, you might have back pain from it.

GERD can be linked to dysautonomia. That doesn't mean that anyone with GERD has dysautonomia, but it's likely that if you have dysautonomia and GERD that they're related. It can also be caused by Mast Cell Activation Disorder, and who knows what else.

Hope you get some relief soon!!!

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Everyone already gave you good advice so I don't have anything to add there but just wanted to say I hope you get some answers soon and start to feel better.

While you do need to see your Dr it's probably fine to try OTC stuff and go ahead a make an appt to see your Dr for when he/she returns.

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