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freediving and heartburn/acid reflux?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Mar 9, 2004
Does anyone know about a correlation between freediving and heartburn?

My buddy and I freedive recreationally usually no deeper than 40 ft. About half of the time he gets heartburn, and sometimes even pukes :( . Sometimes I get mild heartburn too.

Maybe it has something to do with what exactly one eats before freediving and how long before freediving the meal is had.

Any thoughts or reccomendations?
Heartburn is caused by acidic stomach contents refuxing up the oesophagus (Australian spelling!). You are predisposed to this if you have a weak sphincter or valve at the base of your oesophagus. An hiatus hernia will also produce the same result in some cases. When you are inverted to dive, gravity allows the acid to enter the oesophagus.

Potential solutions.
1. Descend feet first - usually impractical.
2.Don't eat several hours prior to diving and drink little. This reduces gastric contents, but again isn't very practical.
3. Medication. Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole stop acid production so that any reflux material at least shouldn't burn.
Metaclopramide can accelerate gastric emptying so there's less to reflux.
4. Surgery. The valve can be "fixed" to stop reflux.
5. Avoid exacerbating factors like caffiene, cigarettes, obesity.
6. Try to avoid swallowing air during breathe ups and don't burp on descent.

Good luck,

My doctor diagnosed me with acid reflux, and prescribed meon of the proton pump inhibitor meds mentioned in the previous post. since then if has drasticly descreased discomfort while diving. My overall condition has improved, and now I generally only take the meds a few hours before diving.

Good luck.

Btw, if you notice this happening more often, definately get it checked out. It can cause pretty serious damage to you esophagus.

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