Heartburn - lay down, it's gone...sit up, it's killer

Hey, folks.

First - I got an appointment with my doctor in April so I can ask her about this.

But I thought I’d ask to see if anyone was familiar with this.

I have heartburn every so often - typically when I don’t eat regularly so I get that acid thing going - usually goes away if I eat some soda crackers, etc.

I know what kinds of things in my diet causes it - caffeine, etc…I don’t drink alcohol much at all so that isn’t the cause. But here’s the weird thing:

Normally, for people with heartburn, if they lay down, it hurts and if they sit up, it feels better.

I’m the exactly opposite. I had heartburn last night for about 5-6 hours. If I lie down, boom, instantly gone. Sit up and about a minute later, I’m in pain again. IT doesn’t feel like it’s that far up my esophagus - feels more tummy-ish.

Any clue why this weird reaction?


Hmm. Look up “Acid reflux disease”.

Most people–lie down, worse.
You–lie down, better.


Most people–lie down, worse.
You–lie down, better.

You’re right–you’re weird. :smiley: I’d advise you to see a doctor, except that you already are. Prepare to receive an upper gastrointestinal series (that’s where you drink the “milkshake” while the X-ray tech frantically takes pictures). Fun. :slight_smile:

Yeah, the berrium swallow. They could also have you eat scrambled eggs with a radioisotope and x-ray it traveling through your digestive system. If you’re really lucky, you might even get an endoscopy - where they shove a tube with a camera attached to it down your throat.
I suffered from GERD, doudenal ulcers, gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome for a few years, and it sucked. I feel your pain. But be glad you don’t have IBS - they performed a procedure on me similar to the endoscopy, but from the other end. It’s generally not amusing having some kind of probe (a Ford Probe, it felt like) up your arse while the doctors point at the screen exclaiming, “There seems to be some inflammation there…” - gee, maybe it’s that humongous stick you’ve got buried in my colon, doc!
Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

I’d be concerned of a gastric or duodenal ulcer positioned in such a way that lying down causes the acidic contents of the stomach to move away from it. Get thee to an MD, and expect a Helicobacter Pylori titer blood test at the least.

Qadgop, MD

Hey Tiburon, not to sound alamist, but have you had your appendix out?

This sounds exactly like my symptoms before mine ruptured. I had what felt like slight heartburn on a Monday. I’d eat something light, and it’d go away. But by Wednesday, eating didn’t get rid of the pain. By Thursday night, I was drinking Maalox like a regular beverage. Friday (the 13[sup]th[/sup] BTW), I could barely get out of bed. My pain was relieved when I took a shower, but came back as I got dressed for work. My office was within walking distance, but I couldn’t get halfway to the elevators before I felt the need to crawl back to my apartment.

I called my parents, who took me to the hospital, where I was admitted. The docs didn’t have a clue, because my pain was centered in my body and high, just below my sternum. They did a couple of gall bladder scans and a series of X-rays. I could barely make it around my room. The pain became so intense that I vomited. It wasn’t until I was delerious on Saturday that a nurse urged the doctors to take a better look. That’s when they figured out that my appendix was rupturing. One more day, and I would’ve been dead.

I’m glad I have an appointment but now I’m almost afraid to go!

I’ve had this kind of weird heartburn before so I think that it probably isn’t my appendix (wouldn’t it have bust before now?) though my mother did have hers removed when she was around 14 or so.

Is a barium swallow sort of like …drinking chalk? I’d heart that someplace.

Hey, Qadgop, if I have H. Pylori in my system - do antibiotics take care of it completely? I’m gonna have to stop eating poo or kissing people who eat poo. (ha ha)

p.s. Pleased to report no heartburn last night.


It usually takes triple therapy to knock out H. Pylori, two antibiotics and an acid blocker, for 2 weeks. This is usually sufficient. I wouldn’t fret about the tests much, the barium swallow is basically drinking a thick, tasteless milk shake, and if you do get an upper endoscopy (not a sure thing by any means) they usually give you good drugs, which either make you forget the experience, or really enjoy it.

Yeah, the barium swallow isn’t that bad. Mine was flavored with peppermint. Mostly it’s just tedious. And there’s such a lot of it. You stand there gulping it down and rolling your eyeballs.

And if you do end up with a colonoscopy (that’s the endoscopy from the other end), they will give you something that will make you very happy. I looked down and saw the light shining through my abdomen and it was, like, sooooo cooooooll duuuuuude, hey, look, Better Half, there’s a liiigggghtt shining in my bellyyyyy…

Consider yourself lucky! I cant sleep when I get heartburn, its very unpleasant.