When I was 16 and studying for my GCSEs, I was rather worried as you can imagine, and also pretty keen to do well. I would sit at my desk for hours each day, teaching myself the syllabus for each subject, dissecting past questions, and generally doing all the right things. At the time, I was drinking quite a lot of coffee to keep myself alert, and after a while I gradually noticed an annoying pain in my lower chest, right in the middle of my diaphragm. I couldn't quite place where the pain was, as it went up and down, but it was something between hunger and nausea. At the time I went to the doctor about it, but he just told me it was down to worry and sent me away. After my exams finished, the pain mysteriously went away and I didn't think about it again.
Until about seven years later, I had signed up to spend a year teaching English in Japan. I had no idea where I was going to be sent, did not know a soul in Japan and felt generally rather uneasy about the whole thing. Many times I thought about pulling out, but my life was pretty much going nowhere and I knew I had to do it. Again, gradually I felt the familiar pain in my diaphragm, worse at night, better in the mornings, worse after fruit, tea, coffee and anything with tomatoes in. Again, I had no idea what it was and after a while, it went away again.
Roll on another seven years! I was pregnant with my second child and it was snowing, badly. Where we live, on the hills, the snow affects us really badly, so much so that we've had to buy a 4 x 4. I was seven months pregnant when the snow began and it didn't melt until I was nine months gone. I was really worried about getting to work, buying food, and most of all, going into labour and not being able to get to hospital. The pain started again, only this time because I knew that many women get heartburn in pregnancy, this time I knew what it was. The pain is searing, running up and down your gullet, into your mouth and back down into your stomach. I couldn't sleep because of the pain and worst of all sitting and lying made it more painful, whereas being up and about lessened it slightly, even though I was completely exhausted. This time I couldn't pin point any foods that made it worse, it was everything, in fact water seemed to be a major cause, so there was nothing I could eat that helped. I was at my wits end, in tears because of the acidic hell I was experiencing. The only time I felt any relief was bizarrely at work because I was on my feet all day, and that seemed to help.
The doctor prescribed me some heartburn relief tablets and gave me gaviscon, but it made no difference. The only time I felt ok was first thing in the morning before I ate. Then, it all began again.
Since giving birth it hasn't really let up. At times of stress it comes on again, or if I'm really tired, or I eat certain foods. It looks like it's going to be one of those things I'm going to have to learn to live with.
Does anyone have any miracle cures for heartburn, please share!