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QuestionThis year I have had 2 operations for breast cancer and 7 weeks of radiation from the 1st week I have had heartburn that wakes me at night. I have just had my 6 week check up and have been given the all clear but I feel yuk and still have the heartburn. Does the radiation live on in the body causing more drama?
The symptoms of reflux you are experiencing may be the result of a decline in liver and digestive function as a result of recent radiation therapy. High energy radiation aimed at the abdominal area causes cells to die off and atrophy which may also affect the effectiveness of digestive processes while causing irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Although there are no direct links which state that a side effect of radiation is reflux, generally nausea and vomiting are commonly experienced by radiation patients. The effects of radiation can be seen in the body after the therapy has ceased. It is therefore recommended to gently support the organs of detoxification, digestion and elimination while the body deals with low immunity and vitality. While you are recovering it is suggested to simplify your meals, concentrating on nutritional and easy to digest meals.
• soups, broths, vegetable juices, pureed foods, smoothies
• avoid foods which are known to aggravate reflux such as spicy foods, rich and fatty foods, heavy meals, caffeinated or carbonated beverages, tea, coffee and alcohol
• take slippery elm before eating as this is a demulcent (soothing) powder which will help to reduce acid, protect the lining of the stomach and esophagus and promote healing of any irritated surfaces within the digestive tract
The information presented on this page has been prepared by a fully qualified naturopath and is for educational purposes only. It does not take into consideration your specific circumstances and is not intended to replace the services of a health practitioner. Any application of the material in this text is at the reader’s discretion and sole responsibility. If you have a persistent health condition or your symptoms are severe please consult a qualified healthcare provider.