Chest Pain – Could It Be Too Much Acid?
he problem could be a faulty valve between your stomach and esophagus. This condition is commonly referred to as hiatal hernia or esophageal reflux, when the valve between your stomach and esophagus allows acid to back up into your chest area, causing burning and pain that can mimic a heart attack. When this discomfort becomes chronic, it’s time to make changes. You may find relief in the medication prescribed by your doctor. However, you to take an active part in preventing the symptoms Caffeine-containing beverages may not cause irritation when taken with meals, but when cup after cup of coffee is consumed on an empty stomach, the body revolts! Heavy meals are also a problem. They cause the stomach to work overtime, thus increasing the amount of acid produced.
High-fat meals and snacks are slow to exit the stomach, thereby increasing the amount and duration of acid produced by the stomach. Frequent, small low-fat meals and snacks are recommended to relieve hiatal hernia symptoms.
If stress is at the core of your hiatal hernia problem and you are not currently exercising, start! If you need additional help in reducing your stress, a professional therapist may help.
Try following these suggestions to ease your symptoms of hiatal hernia:
- Consume frequent small meals
- Keep meals low in fat
- Avoid caffeinated beverages on an empty stomach
- Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime
- Elevate the head of your bed to 45 degrees. You can do this by adding a block under each leg of the headboard of your bed. Reduce stress through exercise, or seek professional help
Additionally, the following food items have been found to cause excess acid formation. Begin by eliminating all the items on the following list. When symptoms have resolved, you may begin to add back items, one at a time, until symptoms recur.
- Cigarette smoking
- Citrus juices
- Diary products
- Nuts and seeds
So Who Should Take Aspirin?
If you’re 50 or older, and you don’t have ulcers or other bleeding disorders, consult your physician. Taking aspirin may help.
How Much Aspirin Should I Take?
Generally, if you are an adult who is 50 or older, you can take up to one 325 milligram tablet every other day. Also, evidence suggests taking 80 mg every day might produce similar benefits with fewer side effects.
IN THE KNOW
Tell your physician about your symptoms. It will help if you keep a diary of what you have eaten and when your symptoms occur (including their intensity and duration). You will need professional input to rule out cardiac involvement and determine the role stress is playing in your condition. Nutritional advise is available from our dietitian.