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I'm having these same symptoms as everyone is describing with horrific shortness of breath that accompanies it. I've had this to some extent now for well over 6 months, and it's gotten worse just in the last two months. I'm a healthy 29 year old man, who's in great physical shape (perfect blood pressure, low resting heart rate, healthy diet) other than this issue. I'm in America, and the doctors don't seem to have much knowledge of this issue, as they told me it's probably anxiety and to keep taking Prilosec. So it didn't take me longer to figure out this is something I'm going to have to do on my own. I really just started today on my new diet and routine, that I'm hoping will cure this. I believe what we have (I'm not a doctor nor have any medical training nor have I had an endoscopy, so this is my opinion and should not be taken as medical advice) is a hiatal hernia mixed with esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus). What I believe is happening is if we eat too much or too fattening of foods or the wrong foods (chocolate, alcohol, mint), the LES will relax allowing the hernia to move further past the diaphram. This allows acid to enter the esophagus causing inflammation (the esophagus getting inflamed like this is likened to dropping lemon juice in your eye (esophagus) as opposed to your mouth (the stomach)).
Once the esophagus is inflamed, it takes quite awhile to heal. The best estimate I can find is 4 to 8 weeks. Esophagitis is further irritated by hard foods like hard proteins and hard breads, but not by fattening foods. However, if this is happening along with a hiatal hernia, then the fattening foods will further relax the LES allowing the hernia to move up, causing more acid to enter the esophagus.
So here's what I'm doing to see if I can fix this myself with all the research I've done:
-Soft foods diet for at least 2 to 4 weeks
-Skipping fattening meats or meats that are tough like lean proteins (so that leaves me with immitation crab meat, and creamy peanut butter)
-Started taking Nexium twice daily, not taking once daily probably for 2 more weeks.
-Bought a wedge pillow to sleep sort of upright
-Not eating at least 5 hours before bed.
-Reducing stress (stress apparently relaxes the LES) by not doing much right now beside bare necessities like cleaning and such.
-Twice daily (once in the morning and once in the evening) drinking 2 to 4 cups of water and jumping up and down to keep hernia down.
-Have Gaviscon on the way (apparently it forms a floating barrier of antacid, so my logic is if my acid does go up in the esophagus, the gaviscon will be the first to hit it).
-Walking some after eating, and not lying down after eating for at least 30 minutes or so).
I will update this thread on how I'm coming along, and if this worked. I don't want to jump to any conclusions though for at least a few weeks, as I've thought I had this beat before, but it came back with a vegeance, so this time I'm going all out on it. Wish me luck!
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