K.N. asks from Saint Charles, IL on April 15, 2009
A week ago I started having a burning feeling in my chest. I went to the doctor thinking it was in my lungs but an Xray and exam showed lungs and heart are fine. We determined it was probably heart burn. I've never had heart burn in my life. Has anyone been fine one day and then had heart burn the next that came back everyday. I have been under a lot of stress the last 2-3 months--would stress cause it. Did you get rid of the heart burn without medication?
N.W. answers from Chicago on April 15, 2009
I'm heartburn-free now. First I had to determine which foods caused heartburn. I got a food allergy test and eliminated those foods from my diet. I also eliminated fatty and greasy foods and caffeine as well. Contrary to popular belief, I didn't have to eliminate spicy foods, just ones I was allergic to.
I added a fiber supplement to help move my digestive system. I also take a probiotic. That pretty much cured me!
If I'm going to eat something that will cause me heartburn I take a supplement called Digest Gold. It has enzymes that help me digest the food and prevents heartburn. I also take Ginger Root if I get a flare-up.
Stress can definitely cause heartburn. I suggest light exercise to help with that.
Hope that helps!
M.R. answers from Chicago on April 16, 2009
Stress can definitely cause heartburn. Also, have you recently started an exercise program? If you exercise right after dinner, you can have heart burn issues because you're bouncing the stomach contents around, potentially causing a backup of acid.
Also, try eating 3 hours before you go to bed. Sit up during the evening to avoid the acid moving into the esophagus. You might wish to try an extra pillow when you sleep to keep the body elevated somewhat. Also you can avoid certain foods that seem to exacerbate the issue (tomato-based products, etc.).
R.N. answers from Chicago on April 15, 2009
I know this will sound weird but milk cures my heartburn every time. I too suffer from heartburn from stress (we had alot of family/personal issues recently) - a couple of times it was so bad I thought I was actually having a heart attack - no kidding. But I wasn't. Over the counter meds didn't work - it kept coming back. But one day while I had it all I wanted was a glass of cold milk - so I poured one and drank it fast. No sipping - just drink it down - and (this is going to sound gross) but it will make you burb from way down and bam the heartburn is gone. Milk is a neutrilizer so it actually makes sense when I thought about it - it neutrilized the acid and gas.
Can't guarantee it will work for you - but it does for me and I don't waste my money on over the counter meds or running to the doctor all the time.
Hope it works for you.
E.P. answers from Chicago on April 15, 2009
Stress can definitely trigger heart burn. Pregnancy or hormonal times in your life too, can be challenging. I had a few awful bouts when I was pregnant with my daughter. Also, different foods can trigger it so keep an eye on what you eat. Some foods that I have eaten over the years have recently been giving me a lot of heartburn (i.e. baked ham/some lunchmeats, hardboiled eggs). Coffee and acidic drinks can be a culprit, so can fatty foods. Also, be careful about what you eat in the evening. Stop eating anything 3 hours before bedtime, especially if you are a nighttime snacker/binger. If you are experiencing a lot of heartburn, start getting into eating 5- 6 smaller meals for a while. (I just went to the dr. and heartburn was one of MY complaints - now I have to give up my coffee!)
I take an occasional Maalox tablet - nothing more at this point. I just am being more conscientious about what I'm eating and I'm exercising more. It has definitely helped.