Hello.
I am a 26 year old Male. I weigh 243 lbs. and am 71" tall. I have the following S&S:
Lump in throat
Lack of sleep
Coughing
Heartburn
Dizziness
Lightheaded
Eating less

In recent months I have had a constant onset of stress and anxiety. I have also been diagnosed with PTSD in 2011 and have been experiencing a lot of depression in those recent months. I also have constant allergy issues. I know that my weight can have a lot to do with the health of my body and so I have started a constant workout routine and have changed my diet to stop eating crap foods and eat/drink healthier. I am hoping this is something different that Reflux or GERD, but I don't know - I was always taught to not self-diagnose. I cannot afford to visit a doctors office. Please help.
Thank you.

edit:
I have been using extra strength antacid tablets and generic OTC acid reduction pills... they don't work as well as I would hope and I only feel comfortable for an hour or so after taking them.
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replied July 3rd, 2013
Experienced User
This does sound like acid reflux.
You need to get control of this before it causes real damage.

Firstly, at 243 lbs a d 71", your BMI is 33.9 when it should be below 25. So you need to lose at least 60 lbs.
Stress can be a cause of overproduction of stomach acid - and of resorting to comfort eating the wrong foods, so your PTSD may have been a significant contributory factor.

It's good you are looking at your diet. We are all different and respond to foods differently but the most common factors are fats which do not dissolve in acid but remain in the stomach being sprayed with more acid that isn't neutralized. Keep a food diary to determine what your particular trigger foods are.

Drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can also relax the lower esophageal sphincter facilitating reflux.

To reduce reflux:

Do not overfill your stomach - eat little and often.
Avoid tight clothing
Avoid exercises that compress the stomach after food - exercise where you remain upright (such as walking) is good
Do not eat for at least 3 hours before going to bed
Raise the head of your bed by 6 to 8 inches.

To reduce acid:

There are many types of acid reducing medication.
Normal antacids such as Tums work immediately by neutralizing over production of acid - but over consumption of these can lead to complications and things like kidney stones.
Alginates such as Gaviscon float on the acid, coat the esophagus and neutralize the acid.

H2RAs such as Ranitidine block the signals that tell the stomach to produce acid. They do not act instantly and need to be taken proactively.

PPIs such as omeprazole are the best acid suppressant to choose. They effectively turn off some of the faucets pouring acid into the stomach. There are many brands (Nexium is probably the best known, newest and most expensive but is no better at doing the job than the cheapest generic omeprazole available OTC at Walmart.
PPIs become more effective after a few days build up in your system. They need to be taken at the same time each day. It is suggested they are taken half an hour before breakfast. Their enteric coating is designed so they won't dissolve in the stomach acid and need to be washed through to the doudenum with the food so they may be absorbed into the blood stream.
A normal (maintenance) dose of omeprazole is 20mg but they may be taken at 40mg if necessary. (In some circumstances, a doctor may prescribe them at higher rates than this.) - Equivalent doses of the other PPIs will vary. This forum will not permit me to post useful links to comparison charts etc.

If after following the acid and reflux reducing regimes you still have the symptoms you describe, see your doctor. Frequent and persistent acid reflux can cause damage to your esophagus that may lead to cancer down the line.
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replied July 3rd, 2013
Thank you very much for your reply.
I will try your suggestions - I know my intake of caffeine is a bit over the top - I've been drinking nothing but pop since I was a kid. This and coffee will be very hard to stop, but I know I need to take care of my body.

Thank you again!
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