Heartburn and the Hypochondriac

30 Mar Heartburn and the Hypochondriac

Just a quick note to start: I’m not a doctor, and I didn’t stay at a holiday inn express last night.
I was reading this article recently and wanted to share it with all of you.  As many of you know health, wellness, and nutrition are passions of mine (passions I wish I had more time for). This article hit home for me because of past experiences and I felt the need to share.
Late one evening, when I was 18 years old, I thought I was having a heart attack.  I am your classic hypochondriac; however, at 18, I didn’t realize that my mind would always go directly to the worst case scenario for the rest of my life. A few hours of “walking it off” (which basically means I walked circles around my mothers kitchen until I was tired), I went back to bed.  A few days later the sensation returned and I made a doctor appointment.  A little background here: I ate your typical All-American diet at 18 which means pizza, fast food, Cheez-Its, and your occasional adult beverage.  (KTC I am not admitting to underage drinking its for comic effect) #statueoflimitations
When I met with my doctor he quickly diagnosed me with heartburn (so much for my heart attack theory) and wrote me a prescription for Nexium (was available prescription only at that point) and gave me a list of some foods to avoid.  Now, I don’t blame my doctor, as doctors receive very little nutritional training during their years of schooling. However, putting an 18 year old kid on heartburn medication for the rest of their life sure seems strange to me…
I wasn’t then or am now really a big fan of medicine so as you guessed I didn’t take the medicine and just suffered through the discomfort of heartburn.  (I know I know “suffer” is an extreme word when discussing heart burn, but it’s my blog and I like the word folks!)  Finally years later when I started to become interested in nutrition I was able to change my diet and cure my heartburn without medication.  It seems like common sense to me that my doctor should have spoke with me about my diet or sent me to a nutritionist to help me correct my diet.  However that’s just not how our medical world works and complaining about it in this blog isn’t going to change that, sadly.
I write this blog for three reasons:
1. I want to share the dangers of taking antacids on a consistent basis.  Many times we think if it’s over the counter then it must be safe to take.  Tv commercials and our friends and families convince us this is the case.
2. I think it’s important to remember that when our bodies are giving us signals we need to take a deep look at those signals.  Taking a pill or some other quick fix may give us instant relief. However, our bodies don’t want the pill; they want us to change something in our lifestyle because what we are currently doing is causing us damage.
3. It’s ok to challenge conventional thinking.  We used to think the world was flat, but common sense and a boat proved that to be wrong.  There are times when medication is 100% the right path to take.  However, exploring other options and asking challenging questions can also be the right thing to do.  If you’re 18 and are having heart burn already, maybe put down the rolaids and eat some broccoli.
As a reminder I’m not a doctor and I’ve never played one on tv so you should trust your medical professional and not take any of this blog as medical advice.  I just wanted to share my experience and an interesting article I read!
All the best,
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