GERD & Anxiety? Please Advise....

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pixiedust82
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/19/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

This may be a lengthy post and any advice would be greatly appreciated... if nothing else, it will help getting all this off my chest!!!

I have been suffering with GERD symptoms for a year and a half now and it is also possible I may have a hiatus hernia. So far I am technically undiagnosed as 100% having GERD/Hernia and I am due to visit a specialist at the hospital in a months time.

My symptoms are:

1) Heartburn and indigestion at any time of the day, its not always related to eating.

2)Bloated stomach, stomach pain, constant pain under and inside the left side of my rib cage (I thought I had a cracked rib as that's what the pain felt like, also feels like a sore inside... could be the hernia?)

3) Nausea EVERY DAY but never sick, I have a very unattractive gagging problem mainly in the morning but also if I bend over.

4) Acid Reflux or food feeling like its sitting in my chest area.

5) Loose stools/Constipation but only when my tablets are not working!

6) Constant burping

I have had blood tests for cancer and thyroid problems, Breath test for H.Pylori (Negative), Celiac Disease (Negative), Stool test (Negative) ultra sound for gallstones (negative) and the next step is to have the camera down my throat! Great! lol

My doctor initially thought my symptoms were down to IBS but after medication for this and changing my diet etc. that's now pretty much ruled out.

I have been prescribed the following over the last year:

Metoclopramide
Valoid
Motillium
Ranitidine
Omeprazole
Lansoprazole

At first I was taking an anti sickness tablet such as Metoclopramide with Ranitidine and then before food Gaviscon but this little cocktail did absolutely nothing! I started to not be able to keep my eyes open during the day and then also developed depression symptoms. I found out these were side effects of metoclopramide so stopped taking them and hey presto, at least that problem was solved! Replacing metoclopramide with valoid and then motillium did nothing.

It was actually my chemist who suggested I ask my doctor to try me on a PPI blocker and I was then prescribed Omeprazole. OH MY GOD! It was like a miracle!!! By day 2, no sickness, no gagging, no heartburn, no indigestion all symptoms GONE!!! For the first time in almost 8 months I felt like myself again! I had felt so crap for so long I forgot what it felt like to feel well if that makes sense?

So for about 5 months, these little miracle tablets made me human again, my doctor seemed happy enough to just keep prescribing me them and said I would more than likely have to take them for the rest of my life which bothered my but as with most things, when you feel well, its not such a big deal.

Then it happened... one day they just stopped working..... after a week of hoping it was just an off day, back to the doctors I went with the full blown symptoms again and I was prescribed Lansoprazole. These worked for 2 months taking 15mg a day and then they stopped...I was put on 30mg a day... nothing.... both of these PPI's don't work at all anymore. One question is, is this normal? Has anyone else experience this?

I went back to my doctor and asked if they had another PPI I could take but he said I have tried the best two so there was no point trying something else. For me there is every reason to try something else! Waking up every day feeling sick and dry heaving are a couple of great reasons!!!

Ok so this is where the lines blur a little bit for me.... feeling sick and unwell for over a year obviously gets you down, the more low you feel, the more your stomach is effect so a circle begins. I have to travel away a lot with work and have started to feel anxious about being away from home, feeling sick, not having tablets that work... and as a result, my work has been effected, which adds to feeling crap, which adds to symptoms that are already there. This is rational. I understand this.

I now have a new problem to add to the pot.... I am getting full blown anxiety attacks. I understand feeling anxious about being away from home and not feeling well but these anxiety attacks are creeping up and I cant work out what is triggering them. I know my brain is obviously going into overdrive and it's probably some sort of tactic to keep me safely just feeling ill in the house but I can't live like this or with this. I feel like I am going insane!!!

Has anyone else experienced this??? I thought stomach problems were bad enough but now I feel depressed and get anxiety attacks!

Any advice would be fantastic.....

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6933
   Posted 7/19/2009 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pixidust82,
Welcome to Healing Well! It sounds like you've been through a lot! Sorry to hear that your symptoms are back. and that your PPI's aren't effective any more. I have read posts by lots of members who have experienced a similar resistance to PPI treatment. I didn't get effective relief from them--I was on 40mg of Protonix twice a day, and while they definitely helped me a lot, I had reflux breakthrough.

I'm surprised that your GI doc isn't trying some other PPI's , since it's not all that uncommon that some people respond to specific PPI's differently. There is no doubt that you will get responses from other forum members who are experiencing similar symptoms and feelings. Anxiety very often accompanies GERD symptoms, for obvious reasons. It is a very distressing disorder.

I'm sure you'll hear from others who have experienced anxiety and GERD. This is a great place to vent, ask questions, and receive support.
You might find help at the Anxiety and Depression forum here at Healing Well. You can use the pull down "Forum Quick Jump" menu to check it out.

Good luck with your problems, Pixidust!
Denise

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12393
   Posted 7/20/2009 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I have GERD and anxiety problems, too. My anxiety problems turned out to be connected to hypothroidism. Have you been checked for this? I'm sorry you meds aren't working for you. Are you facing surgery yet for your GERD?

Good luck,
Joy

gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 7/22/2009 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pixiedust,
I had a similar experience with PPIs and anxiety. Omeprazole was by far one of the best PPIs I took, but it too stopped working after only just a few months. I tried most of them actually, including Nexium. I was also on mobility drugs for some periods. All of the meds only worked about a month or so each before they stopped having an effect and then my symptoms would return with a vengeance.

I had anxiety attacks with GERD (though I did not mention them in my thread b/c I erroneously treated it separately) and I was told by a therapist that I had depression, although I did not feel depressed, just nervous and anxious all day. I lost my sense of humor and had negative thoughts constantly, I had a feeling of doom most of the time.

I had GERD for over a year and mine turned out to be stress related so it did not heal until I totally learned to relax. It was a long and viscous cycle though because my anxiety increased as my health deteriorated because of GERD.

I finally recovered from GERD using a combination of things. I took an inordinate amount of the same medicines that had not worked in a year: Motilium & Cisapride (generic mobility drug) - 24 of these pills a day for 2 months. And I continued taking a PPI 4 times a day. I did yoga 4 times a week. I did breathing exercises 3 times a day. Dieting did not help (at one point I was so distraught that I drank a glass of wine and actually felt better that night - go figure). I got 85% better under my last gastro's care and finally healed 100% with a homeopath that gave me some pills to take for digestive relaxation. Both the gastro and the homeopath said the key to getting over GERD is to get your digestive system to relax.

I am not suprised about the anxiety with GERD. You will find that several individuals here have that combination of symptoms. I hope you find a method that helps you get well again.

You will get better - you have to believe it. It takes time, but you will get better.

Best of luck to you!!
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