View Full Version : swimmers heartburn????

August 14th, 2002, 03:29 PM
New swimmer that bikes and runs. I've been in the pool about 12 times and for some reason I'm getting heartburn ?? Any ideas??

Kevin in MD
August 14th, 2002, 05:02 PM
This is easy, acid reflux.

Caused by hiatal (sp?) hernia or any number of other things.

The big word is gastro intestinal reflux disease.

Had it for years before I knew it. Had trouble swallowing for a good four years. Eventually is got so bad some food got stuck in my esophagus and it wouldn't come out. Went to the hospital and they got it out with a scope. That's when i finally found out I had a problem i wasn't just eating too fast.

Puts you at increased risk of esophageal cancer.

I really know more about this than you will find informative. Go to a doctor, get scoped and he will prescribe some prilosec, works like a charm. Never have problems again. As long as you take it EVERY day.

Philip Arcuni
August 14th, 2002, 06:00 PM
bike4fun was asking why swimming should cause it. Evidently it is not caused by other strenuous exercise. If stroke change, breath pattern change, etc. can solve the problem, he should go that way, rather than medicine (aka, drugs.)

I have never had the problem, but I could speculate - swallowing air, too much food in the stomach for horizontal exercise, swimming-induced stress, too much pressure on that sphincter (whatever it is called) by holding the breath badly, breathing in an awkward body position which makes it difficult for that sphincter to remain closed - but I am sure someone can come up with personal experience.

Kevin in MD
August 15th, 2002, 04:26 PM
Ahh quite so.

Being horizontal is much more of a challenge to one's tomach to keep the acid in. Being vertical gravity does most of the work.

This is why heartburn is often worse at night. When we are sitting or walking around the nasties stay in the stomach. Lay down and it comes washing up.

Why? Something doesn't work quite right, could be too much food, or a hiatal hernia bum sphincter. Anyway it's the horizontalness that makes you notice it all of a sudden.

Take a serious look at what is going on and you may find that this is a problem in other ways. Waking up at night a lot, often it's stomach problems that wake you up. Get heartburn a lot, that type of thing. Go see a GI person and get it looked at.

By all means no need to run off and get medicine unnnecessarily but on the other hand, exposing the eophagus to acid repeatedly can lead to Barrett's esophagus which in turn can lead to esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is definitely not something to play around with, or take the predicators lightly.

August 16th, 2002, 12:36 AM
I agree with Kevin, see a Doctor. But go to the Doc informed as much as possible. At my web site I have an article called "What Masters Swimmers need to know about GERD"
I can also send you a very extensive article on swimming and GERD that a friend of mine wrote.

In the article I list 12 common symptoms, I had most of the symptoms for more than ten years, but thought my problems were from asthma. I could not swim for almost a year because the pain was so bad when I swam. The miracle pills like Nexium and Prilosec work wonders, but without an endoscopic exam you may have serious problems and will never know the cause of your heartburn. The miracle pills are also VERY expensive.

Bike4fun did not list their age but mastersí swimmers are aging, and most GERD symptoms develop as we age. I chose to be part of a surgical study to repair the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), one of the best doctors in the world at one of the best hospitals in the world. So far a great success, but I still follow the guidelines in my article to help cut back on the chance for GERD. Perhaps the guidelines will help bike4fun.
But please take Kevinís and my advice and see a GI doctor.

Mark in MD
August 16th, 2002, 03:57 PM

Kevin and Breastroker are indeed "on target" in their urging you to see a gastro-enterologist for your symptoms. I'd never wish the symptoms Kevin had or Breastroker's on anyone. I was somewhat more fortunate in that I didn't need to use medication, rather, I was able modify my diet. That's not to say this will work for everyone, but I was amazed this was a case of "you are what you eat." Do yourself a favor, don't just "put up with it."

August 28th, 2002, 08:44 PM
You know what? I was having the same problems a couple of years ago. I decided to take Prilosec for a few months while I shed some extra beer-belly pounds. I think that cutting WAY back on alcohol consumption also helped. I thought my problem went away until...

I always power up before a workout (I am one of the few people who can consume several hundred calories before a workout and still keep it down... just a little gagging never hurt anyone). I really enjoy pop tarts (strawberry to be exact). I noticed that if I ate a couple before workouts that I would get terrible heartburn.

Anyway, I digress. This may be a quick fix for you. Eat only bland foods before a workout (low low acidic content) and see how that works.

Swim hard.