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Bill Clinton suffered from acid reflux when he was in the White House. His occasional hoarseness may have been attributed to his having GERD. When he experienced chest pain that ultimately led to a quadruple bypass, he first wrote off the symptoms to his acid reflux and lack of exercise. Clinton has since adopted a strict vegan diet for better heart health and avoids many of the foods that can lead to GERD. Foods that can cause heartburn and ingestion are chocolate, greasy or spicy foods, tomato sauces, and alcohol.

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Is there something in the water in Baltimore? Current Orioles star Nick Markakis — he’s been with the team since 2006 — was temporarily sidelined during spring training this year because of acid reflux symptoms, the second time in his career that he was out of action because of GERD. Doctors tested him to be sure it was acid reflux and not an ulcer. After treatment for GERD, he was back out on the playing field.

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British singer-songwriter Laura Critchley, now 29, stood before an audience at Wembley Arena in London in April 2007 and couldn’t vocalize a single word. Severe acid reflux had severely affected her vocal cords and she couldn’t sing. Doctors believe she may have suffered from GERD for years but didn’t know it because she didn’t have any other obvious symptoms. Treatment involved medication and resting her voice, and she was able to resume her career, which has included touring with Tom Jones.

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