Reflux/Heartburn hell.: Hi all, hope... - British Heart Fou...

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Reflux/Heartburn hell.

Mac-beats profile image

Hi all, hope you are all doing well.

I had HA 6 years ago and have been on the standard drug regimen since. Almost from the start my biggest problem has been with Heartburn/Reflux. The chronic symptoms I suffer from are a burning sensation and acid/gurgling. The big complication is that the burning /acid sensation can come on sometimes when exercising and after exercising. I can feel it in my chest and my upper back, but I must stress it’s NOT pain as such but feels more like indigestion like symptoms such as burning, gas, burping. I get these symptoms at rest/after eating/waking up sometimes too so this confirms my view that it’s gastric rather than cardio./angina etc.

Working with GP, I’ve been on and off all the various PPI at different dosages, switched between Aspirin and Clopidogrela few times, and most recently stopped Atorvastatin for a month which seemed to help but now back on it and symptoms seem worse again! Back in January had a stress test which Cardiologist said was a good test but gave me Amlodipine for angina but didn’t seem to help symptoms and no longer taking them.

Lifestyle wise I don’t drink/smoke, eat a low fat vegan diet, weight is good, avoid all trigger foods/drinks and use a wedge pillow for sleeping.

Had an Endoscopy 6 months ago and it showed some inflammation of the esophagus and a

‘slight relaxation’ of LES muscle’. GP is not interested and just wants to chuck drugs at me.Can anyone help/advise? It’s having a major effect on my life and I feel as if I’m in limbo with no clear path out of this ongoing misery .

Any comments or suggestions most welcome. I feel that Ive tried almost everything and now feeling frustrated by it all as I can’t do a lot of things, particularly exercising, because of it.

Needless to say it’s causing me stress and anxiety. Please help , thanks.

31 Replies

Have you been tested for helicobacter pylori, this can cause ongoing reflux like pain? I was diagnosed with it (via a blood test) about 30 years ago and went on two courses of antibiotics. It didn't cure it entirely and my sister in the US sent me some garlic oil and oregano capsules, these really helped and a few years later when it threatened to come back I took mastic gum capsules, they were the latest cure at that time and did help me. I bought mine from a health food shop and they were expensive.

It did come back a little about 5 years ago and someone on this forum asked me if I ate yogurt- well yes I did, it's good for you. I stopped and the soreness went. I think some of us just have more sensitive stomachs than other people. I also avoid foods containing vinegar (it's hidden in some baked beans) and also fat. I've been fine now for many years.

Some pills can make the stomach sore and I solved this by taking them mid breakfast.

Raising the head of your bed may help too, try putting some books under the top legs.

Hope this info can help you in some way.


Thanks for that Jean. I have had 2 courses of ABs in the past for it. They checked it again with my Endoscopy 6 months ago and said I didn’t have it.

Hello Mac-beats. I have suffered with Acid Reflux, (chronically), since having a Bypass Op last September, not a Heart Attack, two Valves replaced. I had a Stomach Ulcer before the Op though but since then, the Reflux has become worse.. Doctor has now prescribed me 60mg Lansoprazole a day. What a relief? They help me no end 😀 Other than that, I bought some Licorice Capsules from 'Savers'.!! I find these really good. Hope that helps a little. I really do sympathise with you though. It is NOT funny!!

Hi Music, haven’t tried Liqorice but currently on 60mg Lanzop and I don’t think it helps much.Might look into licorice but read somewhere it can affect your BP?

Tinker2015 profile image
Tinker2015 in reply to Mac-beats

Yes it can affect your heart rate too it does with me so I don’t touch it. I have LPR under control with the usual things watching diet, bed raised and Gaviscon advance cannot tolerate PPI meds. Slippery elm and marshmallow root is good also chamomile tea as this nutrilises acid

Mac-beats profile image
Mac-beats in reply to Tinker2015

Hi Tinker, thanks for that I do all those things apart from marshmallow, in what form do you take it? Are you also on heart meds?

Tinker2015 profile image
Tinker2015 in reply to Mac-beats

I don’t take any heart medication the marshmallow is in caps but at the moment don’t take any as I have no problems long may it continue

CillyGirl profile image
CillyGirl in reply to Tinker2015

Hi Tinker 2015. I have G.E.R.D. and on heart meds. I agree with you on the chamomile tea, it helps me too.

tunybgur profile image
tunybgur in reply to Mac-beats

Liquorice can be a trigger for careful.

MumaLines profile image
MumaLines in reply to Mac-beats

Try this if you haven’t already, this cured me - the 1st tablet in morning is Lansoprazole, you must wait 30-60mins then breakfast then other meds as it lines the stomach.

Believe or not, acid reflux can be caused by the stomach not being acidic enough. So while things like Gaviscon can offer short term relief, they ultimately exacerbate the problem.

If this is what's going on with you, a simple fix can be to take some diluted apple cider vinegar before a meal. It doesn't taste great but just knock it back. See if things improve.

I'm not a medical professional though, so if in doubt discuss it with your GP first.

Mac-beats profile image
Mac-beats in reply to Supafil

Thanks Supa, will look into that but anything with vinegar tends to ‘sting’ my throat/esophagus, so not sure if I can take it or not? That said, I know many people recommend it.

Supafil profile image
Supafil in reply to Mac-beats

Diluting it is important, it'll go down easier and protect your teeth as well. Check out Dr Ken Berry on YouTube about what he says for acid reflux / GERD for more detail.

Hi I am in the US. I was on ppi and h2 blockers for more than 10 years. Besides the continuous pain from the acid, I ended up with osteoporosis from the ppi meds.I finally found a GI who ran a Bravo pH test. It is implanted via endoscopy and then detaches after 48 hours and leaves your body through a bowel movement. I felt nothing.

The monitor that I had showed severe acid reflux.

I was referred to a surgeon who put a device around my lower esophageal sphincter called a linx device. It s a ring of magnetic beads that opens when you swallow and and then closes preventing acid reflux

Hi, I’ve had this problem for some years, I often have difficulty telling the difference between indigestion and a heart problem.I have a Hiatus Hernia and inflammation, yet another gastroscopy this year. I have worked through various PPI’s and found Ranatadine worked quite well, then it was withdrawn from the market, Sod’s law! I can quite easily get to to the level of vomiting stomach acid. I talked to a Pharmacist and she said Famotidine was the nearest equivalent, I asked GP to prescribe it, told it was too expensive to prescribe for me, felt there was an ageist/feminist element in this decision.Told Gastro Consultant about this, he laughed and said Consultants outrank GP’s, I’ll write and tell them to prescribe it, which he did, I only take one a day but it really makes a difference. Not a total cure, sometimes have to resort to Gaviston if I’ve done a lot bending while gardening but a vast improvement on PPI’s. Hope you find help, good luck.

richard_jw profile image
richard_jw in reply to VelvetSky

He's right in that it's not cheap. Because I had difficulty seeing "my" NHS cardiologist, I saw a very experienced private one and he made several changes to my meds including prescribing Famotidine. Subsequently GP had no issues. I had to buy the first lot, and the price was eye watering.

Hi have u asked your gp about the stretta procedure? Its done at several hospitals. This procedure is simple and done by endescopy. Worth checking out.

I have the same problem, so stopped taking PPIs and things improved a lot. There are exercises on Youtube you can do to strengthen your gastric sphincter and they do work over time. I cut a lot of sugar and carbs from my diet and that has helped along with foods which cuase bloating. It's a matter of trial and error over a week or so, as everyone is different, as are our problems.

I have had 2 consultaions with Dr. Gupta from York Cardiology (Youtube), he has a close contact with a good gastrologist and they exchange information, since the two organs are linked via the vegus nerve and close proximety.

All these illnesses require an holistic approach, so think about the gut and look at fermented foods like sourkraut and good yogurts, preferably unsweetened as sugar creates insuline resistance, which effects everything. And advice from Jordan Peterson, "read(watch) everything you can lay your hands on".

Anything you can do using foods instead of drugs has to be better, though it often takes a while to take effect. But all drugs have side effects.

I believe long term use of a PPI like Lansoprazole can make symptoms worse. My cardiologist put me on Famotidine 20ng. He also reduced the atorvastatin from 80mg to 40mg. Previously, a doctor had stopped aspirin. So I now take Clopidogrel 40mg statin and also rivaroxaban (blood thinner). The latter because they could not put in stents.Also I have found that Gaviscon advance (not double strength) is good.

Mac-beats profile image
Mac-beats in reply to richard_jw

Hi Richard, that’s interesting. Are you on other meds? I am on Clopidogrel, Atorvastatin, Ramipril and Bisoprolol as well as 60mg Lanzoprazole(2x30). Would love to get off PPI but need some stomach protection from blood thinner?

richard_jw profile image
richard_jw in reply to Mac-beats

The Famotidine is an alternative to a PPI. It's a class h2-receptor antagonist whatever that is. Also reducing the atorvastatin from 80 to 40 helped a lot. BTW the cardiologist took me off Bisoprolol because the damage to my heart was not extensive and he was happy for it to beat a bit harder. BS was making me a bit zombie like.

One caveat though, my BP is only 110/70 or thereabouts, so I don't need ramipril or a beta blocker to reduce the BP. So I am on Clopidogrel 75mg Rivaroxaban 2.5 twice a day, and 40mg atorvastatin plus the Famotidine to protect my stomach.

Omeprazole and Gaviscon seem to be doing the trick for me. 😁

I posted not long back regarding similar issues. You have described almost exactly the different bodily reactions, aches and pains that I have on regular occasions. Unfortunately I do not have any other advice to give in addition to that you have already received. All I can offer is my heartfelt sympathy towards a fellow sufferer.👍🏻

After controlling it with a PPI I found a solution with a simple antacid. A high acid content in the stomach is an essential part of digestion, so unnecessarily reducing it with a PPI is not a good idea. I use a Rennie which is calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. But dissolve slowly in the mouth and repeatedly swallow the saliva calms the oesophagus without going straight to the stomach. Half a tablet is usually sufficient.A side effect. The calcium and magnesium is useful for bone health. I also take vitamin D and vitamin K2 Mk7 to smooth the metabolic pathway to the bones. No other medications.

It's a real nuisance, mine has been. controlled pretty well by 20mg of Omeprazole daily. I do avoid strong coffee which I found to be the main trigger of reflux & heartburn. I also suffer from a build up of gas overnight ,not so during the day though. I hope your GP can find you a solution, best wishes.

Hi Mac-beats I'm from US. I was diagnosed with G. E.R.D and had a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication in 1999. Was put on Nexium at that time but had to stop using because of bone issues. I also have a Paraesophageal hernia. Fast forward, I am on heart Meds- Entrestro & eplerenone. But before, I had reflux issue with prior heart meds. I've learn if medicine had sulfate in it, it caused light to very bad reflux issue even with LNF surgery. My body immediately reacts to sulfate medicine. As we know you have to watch what you eat,elevate your head, etc., but you also have to watch your medication as well. I personally don't like taking medicines. As was said before, each of our body is different. Hope you find the answers concerning your body. Have a Blessed Day!

Hi Mac-beats,

My wife and I both suffered from acid reflux.

We started taking a glass of home made Kefir every night and the Rennies are now a distant memory. We also eat fermented food, sauerkraut etc, and this addition to our diet seems to have helped our digestive system reset itself with good bacteria.

It's worth a try, Kefir is dead easy to make every day, only takes 5 minutes but you do need to source some live grains to start the culture off.

It takes a while but do persevere and I'm sure it will help.

Look up Kefir on the web, there's lots of stuff on it there.

Good luck

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions everyone, I appreciate each and every one of them and all of you for taking the time to reply. A lot to think about and some things to try! Many thanks. Ps I’m sitting on couch chewing neutral flavoured gum and that seems to help a bit!

I hope that gum doesn't contain artificial sweeteners - your heart probably wouldn't like that! Mine certainly didn't, now I avoid any artificial additives like the plague and my AF is so much better.

I swear by Manuka honey 250MGO, for acid reflux and indigestion. Also great for mouth ulcers due to its healing properties. It's not cheap but it works for me.

Because I take aspirin I have times whereby I have painful indigestion . Because I cannot tolerate the prescribed indigestion medication, the chemist I go to suggested Sillicolgel and it really works. It’s not cheap

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