Manage you Heartburn

Q: I really need is a way to totally nullify my heartburn.. even on meds, if I go inverted or where a tight wet suit I still get reflux. I miss diving !!

A: Thank-you for a very interesting question! Heartburn is a fairly common condition affecting up to 40% of individuals. Symptoms include upper abdominal and chest pain as well as regurgitation and can be exacerbated by a tight wetsuit or when in the head down position when diving, as described in your question. With severe reflux there is a risk of aspirating food or acid into the lungs or respirator when diving which is incredibly serious. In order to correctly manage your symptoms it is recommended that you speak to your family doctor regarding referral to a specialist Gastroenterologist for an appropriate diagnostic work-up and treatment plan. The management of your symptoms would depend on the underlying cause and treatment would consist of either lifestyle changes (such as not smoking, avoiding certain foods or maintaining a healthy abdominal circumference), medication, surgery or a combination of these different treatment options. It is of utmost importance that you discuss these options with an appropriately qualified healthcare professional. For further advice you are welcome to call the DANSA 24/7 hotline to speak to one of our dedicated Diving Medical Practitioners. The service is available to anyone irrespective of whether they are a subscribed DANSA member or not" - Dr B Andrews, DAN Southern Africa

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