The 1 Thing That Helped My Heartburn
Hope Alcocer, 29, suffered heartburn so severe that she was experiencing symptoms every day. Then she found a treatment that provided real relief. Today, she has heartburn symptoms only a few times a year. This is her story.
"A few years ago, in my mid-twenties, I moved to New York City from the Midwest for work. I worked in the music and fashion industries, and part of the job was late hours and a hard-charging pace. The job was really stressful and I had to drink a lot of coffee to keep up with everything. Coffee is very acidic and that would give me heartburn. I'm also Armenian and Latina, so I lean toward spicy foods—the ones that make you sweat—so that wasn't helping my heartburn, either. Plus, I learned that everyone on my dad's side of the family has heartburn, so some of it must be in my genes.
“I would get a burning sensation in my mouth and throat. Sometimes it would even feel like it was in my ears. I'd get a dull pain in my stomach/intestinal area, and I'd wake up in the morning with an acidic taste in my mouth. It got to the point where I was experiencing symptoms every day.
“My gastroenterologist put me on Nexium 24HR. She said, 'You're only going to need one round of this. It does the job.' I usually reach for natural stuff, but sometimes you just need help beyond that. I needed something more aggressive. And my doctor was absolutely right. One round of Nexium 24HR (taking one pill before eating each morning for 14 consecutive days) made the pain go away. In fact, I was able to eat and sleep comfortably after just a few days on the medication.
“Other medications that I've tried in the past just mask the problem. And some gave me headaches and upset my stomach even more. Nexium 24HR is the only one that truly addressed the problem. I went from having symptoms every day to having symptoms less than a handful of times in the past year. Now I get symptoms only if I have several alcoholic drinks or eat a lot of spicy foods, and I'm not on Nexium 24HR. I've done three rounds in the past year.
“I chill a little with the spicy stuff now—like, I won't pour hot sauce on my omelet anymore because I don't want to risk triggering heartburn. I've cut out some dairy and certain fruits that tend to bother me. But I still eat almost everything that I love (food is part of who I am) and I still drink a lot of coffee. I don't have to limit my diet too much because Nexium 24HR is always there."
Find other great health and wellness stories at EatingWell.com/Strive.