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It was the strangest thing. It just hit me out of the blue one day roughly four years ago. Although I had never experienced any typical symptoms associated with acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflex disease), my body, without warning, began to show me that I had a problem in that regard. It all began with a simple gag reflex. I was going about my daily business and just gagged involuntarily. Throughout the day, the number of times I gagged increased. Sometimes I would vomit a bit, but mainly, it was just a strong gag reflex, and it would happen randomly, for no apparent reason.
Not one to immediately pursue medical attention, I toughed it out. However, after a few weeks, it became evident that this “gag and vomit” routine in which my body was engaging was nothing ordinary. As such, I made an appointment with my general physician who then referred me to a GI (gastrointestinal) specialist.
Upon meeting with the specialist, she did a complete run-down of my medical history and concluded that I had acid reflux issues. She ordered a couple of diagnostic tests, one which required me to drink some nasty-tasting fluid while standing in front of a machine that would allow the technician to watch the fluid move along my esophagus and into my stomach.
The other test was an endoscopy. This was a more challenging procedure. An upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see the inside of the upper GI tract. The upper GI consists of the esophagus, the stomach, and the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. While it is not necessarily a completely unpleasant experience, it does require the patient to be sedated, as having tubes inserted through the mouth and down the esophagus is not easy to endure when fully alert.
The results of this initial endoscopy revealed nothing abnormal. In my subsequent visit with the doctor about a week later, she put me on a protocol of a certain prescription antacid.