Gastritis? Help?

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mamamuse
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 7/22/2007 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
My stomach has been bothering me off and on for the last month or two. I was having a series of "good tummy days" at my last rheumy appt. so I forgot to mention it.
 
I googled lupus/gastrointestinal and saw several mentions of gastritis...and I have all the symptoms. Tagamet, Maalox, Mylanta...none of them dull the acidic, gassy, painful sensations for long. We ate dinner like five hours ago...a child-sized portion of lean roast beef and veggies, iced tea and no dessert...and I still feel like all of it is sitting right there in my stomach. I'm half tempted to try to throw up, just to see if it'll make me feel better. The past couple of nights, reflux has awakened me at 4 a.m. and I don't feel like I even want to try to lie down at the moment.
 
So I thought I'd come see how many of you have dealt with this, and if so, what did you do for it? Did you see a gastroenterologist? The LAST thing I want to do is add another doctor to my list of those I see, but this just adds another layer of misery to the whole lupus experience.
 
Is it a type of flare? Like, instead of my joints flaring badly, the inflammation focuses on the stomach lining instead??
 
Help? Any and all info/experience appreciated. Thanks! 
Kari
Wife, writer, artist, homeschooling mom to 2 wonderful boys
Lupus (dx May '04), arthritis, PCOS, being tested for vasculitis and Behcet's
Now taking: plaquenil, limbrel, metformin XR, ibuprofen and the occasional percoset for pain


okie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 7/22/2007 11:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Kari, I'm sorry you are having problems with this. It can be pretty miserable. I was doing pretty good until this last episode of bing sick and the doctor put me on extra pred and on cipro (antibiotics). I actually try to eat more like a peice of bread or somthing. Somtimes an herb tea helps like there is one called sleepy time. It had spearmint in it. Not strong but just enough to help calm your tummy down. Do you still have your gallbaldder? I used to eat small meals too and my tummy would blow up like a ballon and hurt like crazy. For hours.. I had gallstoned that had completely filled my gall bladder. So I had it removed. I have done much better since that but I still have some problems. I think all these stupid meds can really cause baad stomach problems.

I hope you find somthing that works for you and you get feeling better soon

love ya

carol


God Bless
Carol
Lupus, possible Crest, COPD, Cervical Cancer survivor. Osteoporosis
Prednisone 5mg, Plaquanil 800mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg, HCTZ25/Triamterene37.5mg,Xanax.5mg
 
When things are really dark look up. You can see the stars.
 
 
 


PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 7/23/2007 2:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Kari, I also have a lot of gastritis and reflux, plus the prednisone gives my stomach fits so my PCP has me take Acifex every day. It's terribly expensive but worth it. For times when I have excrutiating pain from a hiatal hernia, I take a prescription liquid called Green Lizard. It's a combination of liquid antacid, lidocane which numbs the esophagus, and an antispasmotic. You might ask your rheumy or your PCP if you have one, about that. Good luck Kari. I know how miserable it can be.
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision.

cellcept 1,000mg, neurontin 1,200 mg, prednisone 5mg, plaquenil 400mg, synthroid .15mg, triamterene 37.5mg, tramadol prn, lunesta 3 mg, actonel, tri-est (compounded estrogen) 7.5 mg, cymbalta 30mg, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin


elcamino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 7/24/2007 4:47 AM (GMT -7)   

Kari,

I am the queen of gastritis, and Pattylatty is right--prednisone can do a number on your stomach.  I take a double-dose PPI (currently aciphex, but GI doctor may switch me to another one), and 300 mg of zantac every night.  And rolaids when I need them, but they make me nauseous so I try to avoid them.  I have an improperly functioning LES (hypomotility disorder of the esophagus) which leads to massive reflux.  I've had 3 upper EGDs, and all three times I've had gastritis, this last time, erosive gastritis, which is severe gastritis with erosions (one step below frank ulcers).  I would suggest you talk to your doctor about a PPI.  They are expensive, but if you've had this problem for a month or longer, you want to get it taken care of.  Damage from acid throughout your GI tract can be extensive, and it doesn't take that long.  Your primary should be able to prescribe you aciphex, or the equivalent, so maybe you won't actually have to go to a GI.

If you do decide to try aciphex--go to their website.  They have a mail in rebate of up to $30 for out of pocket expenses.  I've been getting aciphex for free for 5 years now because the my co-pay is only $25.

Elcamino


Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan


goldenwings
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/24/2007 5:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello mamamuse,
 
I too have lot of gastric problems.  On the odd occasion when the usual  medications haven't helped, I have had testing for helicobacter pylori and after it has been verified, I take a 3 tablet course of antiobiotics and gastric relief medications.  These clear it up.
 
If things don't improve soon, could you perhaps as ask you doctor about this. 
 
Take care.
 
goldenwings  yeah

bhkhhh
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 7/24/2007 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I sure do know what you are going through! The stomach pains, gas, & reflux is how I started out knowing something was wrong up until the dx of lupus. I have had my gallbladder removed & I still have problems with it. I do get the joint aches but my major complaint is my stomach & bowels. I also hurt at the bottom of my left ribcage. I have seen a gastro dr before gallbladder surgery & he says it is ibs. I have found no meds that help (ibs). My pcp was wanting me to have another colonoscopy but my insurance is refusing to pay since I had one a yr & half ago. My pcp, rhuemy believes that it is lupus attacking my gi track. I do have to say since I started plaq I do at least have times when it does'nt bother me. I just wish it would go away all together!

MJLD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 7/24/2007 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey! Sorry you're having tummy troubles. I noticed you take Ibuprofen which can irritate your stomach too. I take protonix which has really helped me. Amen to the prednisone tummy miseries! Hope you feel better soon!
God Bless, Judy

PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 7/24/2007 10:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Goldenwings, I too have tested positive for the helicobactor pylori and after I took the found of three different antibiotics for a week it cleared up and hasn't recurred. I had so much stomach pain and acidity that I was convinced that I had an ulcer. I believe it's an unusual doctor who will have that test run. We were fortunate.
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines.

cellcept 1,000mg, neurontin 1,200 mg, prednisone 5mg, plaquenil 400mg, synthroid .15mg, triamterene 37.5mg, tramadol prn, lunesta 3 mg, actonel, tri-est (compounded estrogen) 7.5 mg, imitrex, cymbalta 30mg, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin


goldenwings
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/25/2007 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   

Hiya PattyLatty,

Glad the treatment worked for you.  My doctor is good with me, if I say that I do not think it is the 'usual' gastric trouble and perhaps we could do the preventive medicines for HP, then he says OK. 

Only my way of dealing with things, but now I am so very forceful with my doctors, never in a rude way but not taking no for an answer.  I push and push if I think something is wrong.  Too many times unfortunately some doctors will say "oh, it's because of your lupus" and in a lot of cases, 'yes' it is, but in others, 'no' it isn't.

We know how we feel, how our bodies react when we are in a flare or if the problem is not something we are used to going through.  If things are not right, then push and push for testing and answers.

I have done this twice in the recent past and on both occasions I was lucky I had, because the outcome could have been so very different to what it was.  I had pre-cancerous lumps in my tummy on one occasion - I was told I was in pain because my spine was in a rather bad way - and the other most recent one was trouble with breathing which turned out to be multiple blood clots in my lungs - I was told then there was a 'bug' going around and I had a chest infection.  I did have a chest infection, but on further testing it was found I had the blood clots too.  I knew things were not right and took matters into my own hands in the first instance, and the second occasion after deep scans the real problem was found.  I am so glad I pushed for what I believed to be right.    

By being aware of our own bodies and speaking up, we can ultimately be of help to our doctors by letting them know of what to look for/take note of when having consultations with other patients too.

Take care.

goldenwings  yeah

Post Edited (goldenwings) : 7/25/2007 8:43:21 AM (GMT-6)


PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 7/25/2007 9:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Golden, You are smart to push your doctors for answers. I've had similar experiences so I understand. I often wonder if doctors really understand how bad we feel. They are taught to react clinically but some do have compassion and we're lucky if we find one who does because those will often press harder for answers.
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines.

cellcept 1,000mg, neurontin 1,200 mg, prednisone 5mg, plaquenil 400mg, synthroid .15mg, triamterene 37.5mg, tramadol prn, lunesta 3 mg, actonel, tri-est (compounded estrogen) 7.5 mg, imitrex, cymbalta 30mg, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin


elcamino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 7/25/2007 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   

H.pylori testing is a common test for any GI work-up on acid reflux, indigestion, etc...  The problem is it can be highly inaccurate, if they use the blood test.  The most accurate way is through endoscopic biopsy (which is very expensive and not necessary for most of us), but they can also test for h. pylori through a stool sample and a urea breath test.  I've had all of them except for the stool sample.  I had a raging h.pylori infection several years ago and had to go through triple therapy (the antibiotics) twice to get rid of it.  Everytime I have an upper EGD, they usually test for h. pylori, even though I don't think I'm any more at risk for re-infection than the general population.  I still have stomach problems, which tells me they had nothing to do with the h. pylori infection.  If you didn't know, h. pylori is strongly associated with ulcers, and in rare circumstance, gastric cancers.  Evidently, I still have ulcer like conditions (erosive gastritis) despite having eradicated my h. pylori infection years ago.  I've read some things that indicate that once h. pylori start wreaking havoc on your GI tract, the damage can continue even after successful eradication.  Don't know how credible that it, but if I find out (I'll ask my GI doctor), I'll let you guys know. 

I guess the bottom line is if you need to be tested for h. pylori, don't settle for the blood test.  All the blood test tells you is that you've had the infection in the past; you will stay positive for years after the infection is gone.  I would probably have a positive blood test.  You really need to have one of the other tests done.  If you're having an endoscopy for another reason, insist on an h. pylori biopsy--this is the best method.

Elcamino


Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan


dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 7/25/2007 12:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had two cases of H.Pylori which ended up causing full blown gastric ulcers. The problem with H.Pylori is you wouldn't know unless you start getting symptoms like an ulcer. I did do double dose on my PPI and treated with antibiotics for these but I often wonder if I truly eradicated it. My grandmother and my mother both had reocurrant ulcers caused by H.Pylori so I think genetics can make you more suscepticle. For me both times, they did perform the breath test on me for a diagnosis.
Take Care
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin 2mg/day (tapering to PRN), Miralax 17g, Supplements


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