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Ask the doctor: How do I stop the ringing in my ears?
font size="4">ASK DR SCURR Do you have a health question for Dr Scurr? He will answer a selection of readers' queries every week. Write to Dr Scurr, Good Health, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Dr Scurr cannot enter into personal correspondence. Please include contact details. His replies cannot apply to individual cases and should be taken in a general context. Always consult your own GP with any health worries. Smoking, being overweight, or simply making a habit of eating too quickly can upset the delicate balance. Another factor is excess acid, often triggered by stress, causing acid to travel back into the oesophagus (leading to heartburn). But I suggest you might suffer from something different, oesophageal spasm. Here the acid reflux triggers a cramp-like spasm of the muscle of the oesophagus; this spasm is so severe that the patient appears pale and sweaty, and may even believe they're having a heart attack. I have known patients suffering from this who have difficulty breathing, and also feel headache or pain in the jaw (because of the way the nerves supplying the gullet run up into the neck and head). Alcohol is a potent stimulant of acid secretion. Even at modest levels of drinking, the amount of acid secreted by your stomach lining is much greater than if you hadn't drunk at all. Combined with a faulty oesophageal function, this may well be what's been causing your symptoms. I think it would be a good idea to have your oesophagus formally investigated. Do discuss this with your GP - hopefully he will agree to refer you to a gastroenterologist for a full evaluation. By the way... Too often, medics forget that human beings are complicated living organisms and not machines, and whatever our pretensions otherwise, we still know so little about the details of human function. I was reminded of this following the experience of one of my patients. For years she'd been deeply in love with another man but neither was free to pursue the relationship. Then, when her children became adults, she and this man moved in together. But within three months he terminated the relationship, and, within weeks of leaving her, was married to someone else, years younger.
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