When I was first diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) about six years ago I was convinced the doctor was wrong. I began crying in his office when he gave me his final determination because I felt like he was disregarding me and everything I had told him. There was no way all that I was feeling could be acid reflux – I didn’t even have heartburn!
I had an idea in my head of what acid reflux was and it was not accurate. Here are some of the myths I thought were truth:
People with GERD have heartburn.
This was huge for me. I had acid reflux causing me many discomforts and not a single one of them was heartburn. Do I get heartburn sometimes? Absolutely. But, when I was complaining to the doctor about all of my ailments, the symptoms I had were constant upset stomach and a horrific taste in my mouth. I never once mentioned heartburn during my visits.
Drinking milk helps the heartburn.
Milk is something I’ve heard people say will cool the burn of acid reflux. It made sense to me, but has never helped. In fact, after drinking it, it occasionally intensified the acid reflux.
Spicy food makes it worse.
Surprisingly, spicy food does not make my GERD symptoms worse. It’s a good thing, too, because I adore spicy food. Since everyone is different, I’m sure there are people who would disagree and say that spicy foods do make a difference in their symptoms, but for me, it does not.
It’s no big deal.
This may be the biggest myth of them all. I really believed that this was something that would cause discomfort and be a downright nuisance. I had no idea how many complications could come from it if not taken care of properly. Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal ulcers are very real health concerns.
Remember, the best information will come from your physician. I’m sharing the things that have happened in my life only – this may not be the same for you.
I recently discovered AstraZeneca’s new Facebook community for others with my condition and was surprised to find that there is some pretty entertaining and inspirational stuff on there. If you have GERD, check it out!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.