Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:57 AM
Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:30 AM
I have had issues with GERD as well, although I don't believe it's related to narcolepsy in my case and certainly not due to medications as it had been occurring long before I began any medications. Elevating the head of my bed 6" worked wonders and I don't even need to take an antacid before bed any longer. It's manageable. Definitely don't eat too soon before bed or before laying down. If you don't have acid reflux while you're in an upright position, you may not need a medication for acid reflux at all if you elevate your headboard and that works well.
As for caffeine and stimulants, I believe caffeine does relax the sphincter to the stomach somewhat, increasing the risk that some acid will backwash into the esophagus, but it also speeds gastric emptying which helps reduce reflux, so it may be a net zero effect. Stimulants generally constrict GI sphincters and slow digestion. That can be bad news for individuals with GERD since gastric emptying can be delayed, increasing the chances of acid reflux.
Acid reflux is bad news, even if the pH of your stomach is perfectly normal. Any amount of acidity in the esophagus increases the risk of cancer. Even drinking carbonated beverages increases your risk slightly.
Just off the top of my head, hot drinks, alcohol, salt, and acidic beverages/foods increase the risk of throat and/or esophageal cancer. If food is sitting in your stomach too long, sliced ginger works well to move digestion along. And for acid reflux, my personal solution has always been eating several spanish olives although they are salty which isn't ideal. A tablespoon of olive oil often works just as well. As for antacids, Gaviscon is amazing. I tend to shy away from proton pump inhibitors because I already have enough food allergies as it is and it seems proton pump inhibitors can slightly increase the risk of developing food allergies.