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Heartburn While Running/exercising


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#1 Lillskuzi

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 03:27 AM

Hi,

I wondered if anybody else suffers from a worsening of their heartburn/acid reflux symptoms when they run or exercise?

I've tried different indigestion remedies just before starting a run, but with no real success. The pain and discomfort is starting to bug me and ruin my enjoyment of running and exercise, so I wondered if anyone has found a solution that works for them?

I already take a proton pump inhibtor twice a day, and another indigestion remedy after meals.
Susie

#2 lizzie

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 03:56 AM

Yes- I also get problems with Reflux/heartburn when exercise at the gym. Not so much when doing aerobic type things (treadmill , cross trainer etc) but more when doing muscle strengthing /toning stuff ( even though Am generally in an upright position. I usually go to the gym during my lunch break (before I eat) and just wondered if the fact I was hungry contributed, but as obviously not a good idea to exercise on a full stomach , haven't tested that theory out. I too am on a PPI but am now going to try taking a liquid antacid before I exercise, although doesn't seem to have worked for you?
Lizzie

#3 jefa

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 04:59 AM

I can't mention the brand name, but there are over the counter indigestion remedies available which act in a slightly different way. They contain alginate (I think this is from seaweed). Combining with the acid the ingredients create a foam barrier which floats on the stomach acid. This 'raft' foam barrier claims to help reduce the number of reflux episodes. If reflux does occur, this raft foam barrier is the first to contact the esophageal lining, and thus provides protection against the acid-pepsin gastric contents. I sound like a commercial now, but there are several brands that contain this ingredient. I have found the most effective one to be a liquid (I buy a generic one) and I keep a bottle on my bedside table. I don't exercise much for other reasons, but it seems that it could help.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#4 Sheryl

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 08:24 AM

HUmm! I was told by my gastro doctor to stop taking any anacid type medications either in liquid or tablet form while I am on the PPI's and the Reglan he prescribed. I wonder how important that is. I had told him when the meds he prescribed didn't work I would use other methods of getting rid of reflux pain, especially in the middle of the night. He said stop that immediately. Take addition Reglan or Nexium. Go figure. I had only done it for about a month when he decided to up my doseages. I don't get reflux from excersize. I get it from foods I eat or don't eat. From bending over to pull a weed or pick something up off the floor. I get it when I lay down or for no reason at all. I start burping and then I know what comes next. Sheryl
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#5 jefa

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 09:38 AM

It's hard to know what information is involved in each individual case or what other treatments you may have been using. Also, other drugs you are taking may have an overall effect on your individual treatment plan. My gastro doctor and general practitioner both assured me it was OK to take otc remedies (I discussed the ones I was using which were the usual chalky tablets. The gastro doctor was the one that suggested the alginate containing antacid as an emergency measure. The proton pump inhibitors (prilosec, nexium, omeprazole, etc.) work by turning off the production of acid. The others work by neutralizing acid that is already there. My general practitioner tried me on two doses of the ppi (omeprazole), one in the morning, one in the evening. I had previously been taking one (20mg) in the morning. (I had also tried taking it only in the evening.) It made no difference. Then we tried without any for a few days and it proved that one dose of 20mg was doing something. We then tried 40mg together once a day. The best results came from 20mg in the morning. Then he referred me to the gastro doctor who diagnosed the GERD and a hiatal hernia. He said it was fine to take supplemental antacids but that I would have better results by keeping my neck higher than my stomach so that nothing could get back into the esophagus. He (and my general practitioner) cautioned that OTC antacids should not be taken WITH medication as their absorbing properties can reduce the effectiveness. He also said I should avoid herbal indigestion remedies as there was no guarantee of what they may contain. It is important to work with your own team of doctors to decide what's best for you.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#6 nan

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 11:13 AM

Wow! I am impressed that you can run. Keep up the great work! I walk but I don't think I exert enough energy to cause heartburn. Although I feel nauseated all the time so I probably can't pinpoint if it's exercised induced.
take care
Nan

#7 WestCoast1

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 11:22 AM

lillskuzi,
Yes, I also started getting heartburn while I ran. This is one of the things that really prompted me to urge the doctor to find out what was going on. It lead to actually getting sick while running. I used to train for marathons...now I just train myself to go for walks.

I battled with different acid medications and found that Prilosec worked after taking it for a while on a regular basis. Please note that even these over the counter meds need to be monitored by a physician especially when mixed with other meds.

I havnt had a ton of acid reflux lately...not like I used to however. What keeps me from running again is the feeling of bricks attached to my feet. Its the fatigue and sometimes the hip/back pain that follows. I found that modorate excercise everyday (or when I can) feels better and is less stressful to my body.

Lillskuzi, I think that after a while you might find something that works for you. Has the doctor given you any tests to find the source for your heartburn?
*WestCoast*

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#8 Lillskuzi

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 05:44 AM

Hello everyone,

Thanks for your replies. The PPIs are prescribed by my doctor who also prescribed one of the liquid remedies which creates a "raft" to take after meals that some of you have so kindly taken the time to think about and suggest. Jefa, my general practitioner also said the same thing about not taking other medication at the same time as othewr medication.

That, together with the PPI, works better than the PPIs alone, but not during exercise. No, Lizzie, I haven't found the liquid antacids that great before exercise. I hadn't really tried antacids just before going for a run until recently. I prefer not to take stuff unless I have to, really. However, I had a couple of big races recently, and I didn't want to be distracted by heartburn, especially as going faster makes it worse. On the occasions that I did try these liquid "raft" antacids, the heartburn eased a bit but not entirely, and instead I had really bad stomach aches, which to be honest are more painful and distracting while running than the heartburn. Except the stomach ache eases when I stop, whereas the heartburn will leave my throat much sorer for days afterwards. I guess the antacids irritated my stomach, though that really is a guess as I can't think what else would have caused it (It wasn't nerves and I had eaten and drunk the same as usual) I guess it is the lesser of two evils!

Lizzie, I have found reflux worse if I am hungry rather than full, though, like you say, exercising on a full stomach is unadvisable! Two hours after a meal is the best time for me.

Nan, I don't think it is so impressive that I run. I'm only 25...

WestCoast1, I did have an esophageal manometry recently but am waiting to go back to the gastroenterologist to get the results of it.

Sheryl, I agree..bending over is not a good thing to do!

Thanks so much for your replies and suggestions, everyone.
Susie