Thoughts on Heartburn

A few years back, I enjoyed and perhaps took for granted the fact that I could eat and drink anything I like. As a 20-year-old man, buffet or spicy food with a bottle of brew was love on my end. But things started to change when I heard the word ‘acid reflux’ from the doctor’s diagnosis two years ago. No to chilli peppers anymore, but I could still eat a good bit of food. In my travels in Qatar, I discovered Indian food which didn’t need the said peppers but still allowed me to eat spicy food. Some roti with some paya, masala, or beef curry is a passionate story on the taste buds.

But like all good things, it came to an end unexpectedly when I started burping one day after eating too much fried chicken two to four months before I came home. It led to that dreaded day I finally got my full diagnosis from the gastroenterologist. I now have heartburn or GERD etching itself into my daily vocabulary. From no more coffee, strong tea, and booze among other trigger foods, to slower and more thorough chewing, and altering my posture, my lifestyle changed almost immediately.


But why did I do that in the first place, a lifestyle change, you may ask? One nasty thing no one ever really tells you is that if one leaves GERD to its devices and lets it have its way, it may eventually cause esophageal cancer. With rather nasty cancer stemming from one’s esophagus, the lack of decent food will be least of one’s problems. And as someone who found his reasons to keep on living and chasing after the life I wanted to live, changing my habits was not a hard decision to make.

Still, one can live a foodie life in the fullest by remembering to do the following. First, noting down trigger food matters. Such is a case with Liempo. It doesn’t trigger me unlike someone I know who has GERD too. However dairy starts up my burping, and in worse cases, leads to some spitting of small amounts of vomit from the excess acid. Second, volume eating is the enemy. It’s best to chose quality instead. And lastly, consulting an expert is always best for one’s wellbeing. They are best situated to give the best advice possible for living with the condition.

Ending this on a good note, GERD isn’t death like I used to believe it to be. It isn’t insurmountable because with some lifestyle adjustments, one can still eat well, and live better. The best of luck and hopefully our blog helps with future foodie trips.


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