Any college students out there w/Gerd?

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laulaur5
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/19/2011 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys!

I was just wondering if anyone had advice on how to deal with GERD in college. I'm going to be a freshmen in a couple of days, and I just wonder how people deal with their GERD socially and academically.

Steelcody36
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 8/19/2011 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I just graduated, but I had GERD throughout college.

My only issue was going out and partying, which I had to avoid. I still did go to parties, but I had to avoid drinking alcohol very often or pay the price the next day! Also, I tried to drink plenty of water each day to help with digestion. Just try to make good decisions with what you eat, and you should be fine.

laulaur5
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/19/2011 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey steelcody,

Did you feel at all left out by not partying?

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey laulaur5,

I am also a college student and I have to be honest and say that I do feel left out by not drinking. It's also hard because I love it and I miss it. I'm in Finland and everyone drinks here so it's definitely hard.

However, I know that if I do drink, I'll have symptoms for at least a day (most of the time, two days), so I just make the decision and stick with it. I use a lot of excuses - I have an early morning, I have to drive (a total lie, I don't even own a car). I'm not advocating being dishonest but people as young as we are sometimes can't really grasp the whole GERD thing and sometimes it's easier to fudge it than to explain fully.

I always keep a drink in my hand (usually water) or I'll ask my husband if I can hold his and it looks like we're sharing.

I know it's hard, but don't feel left out. I justify it by saying that if these people were going to be hung over for a full 48 hours, they might not drink, also.

Hang in there, doll! You'll make friends no matter what in college :) Always be confident in what you do and people usually don't think anything of it.

Ashley

Jeronimo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Im not exactly in college, but yeah, Im 21 so GERD and LPR (my case) can really get in your way to enjoying life...seeing everyone drink alcohol, any food they want and when they want, etc.

I know for sure that next year Im getting operated no matter what, Ill probably end up going for the LINX device.

Steelcody36
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
laulaur5 said...
Hey steelcody,

Did you feel at all left out by not partying?


I did, to the point that I started doing it anyway and paying for it.

Eventually, I decided it was better to be honest with my friends. I explained to them my situation, and most understood and didn't pressure me to drink. The ones who did, I just distanced myself from.

I still went out with friends and occasionally drank, but most of the time I didn't and it was ok.

It upset me and still does to this day, but health is more important than a few drinks.

A few times when I drank anyway and to severe excess, I was in a whole lot of pain.

Definitely not worth it!

Nickles
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 296
   Posted 8/19/2011 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on my last year of college but never liked drinking at all. No alcohol for me ever, I tried it here and there but not muight thing.

My school is not a big party school anyway.

Here is some advise, don't eat junk this was my downfall in late high school and early college. I really messed up, I know you might be all alone in the dorms but learn how to cook and minimize going out to eat.

Eat a lot of veggies, i noticed these help me better than fruits.

If your take medication from your dr. be careful too, acid reducer can have side effects in the long run.

the bottom line is minimize your time eating at fast food restaurants, get some cookbooks or try to eat at healthier places.

Don't eat late or no late snacks, is gonna make it worse.

Try to minimize stress, i found out, passion flower tea for anxiety or stress.

laulaur5
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

Sorry for the late response, but thanks for responding. I'm glad I'm not alone on this. I got some good insight on the social aspect, but I'm wondering more with academics. Right now, I woke up with extreme nausea and diarrhea, and ended up vomiting thirty minutes later. I move into school in 3 days, so I'm freaking out. I don't want to miss any of my classes (especially the first ones) and any of my orientation events (dances, socials, etc).

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 655
   Posted Today 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
If you haven't seen a doctor already, I highly suggest it (sorry if you have, I haven't read your other posts). It is indeed very difficult.

I would probably try to go to bed as early as possible and wake up earlier so that if you do have these problems during the morning, you have some time to recover before class.

Your symptoms are interfering very seriously into your quality of life. I would contact my doctor immediately to tell him how badly it's encroaching on your academic potential. I carry Tums and Gaviscon with me to class (sometimes they help, sometimes they don't, but it helps my mind, which is related to my tummy). Also, saltines help to absorb some of the acid, and they're great for nausea, too.

Make absolutely sure that you stay away from trigger foods. I know it might be a lot harder now that you're actually living at school (that's what it sounded like), but do what you can and hopefully there will be a difference.

How are things going for you? I really hope you're getting some relief, what a terrible way to start college. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

I know it sounds dramatic, but it's just as serious as not being able to go to work. I would for sure head to my doctor's office.

How much have you tried controlling your diet already? Which meds are you taking?

Best of luck to you, honey! Hope you feel better soon.
Ashley

laulaur5
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted Today 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ashley,

I went to a GI today, and they put me on Prilosec to take twice a day (40 mg). I was originally taking Zantac, but I could tell that just with one dosage of Prilosec that I overwhelmingly felt more relief. I guess Zantac reduces the acid, while Prilosec blocks the acid.

I've been really strict on my diet, googling what foods are triggers and what foods are reducers, and also having my doctors tell me what foods to avoid. I'm a person who doesn't snack a lot, and focuses on just breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so I'm having some trouble with eating more frequently in snacks throughout the day. It's definitely quite a change in my lifestyle (as if I'm not already having a lot, with college in 3 days). My classes don't start until the 29th, but I have move-in day and orientation, and I don't want to be lying down in my dorm room missing out on everything. I just wish I could control this better, it's not too fun.

I'm also concerned more about academics, too because I have stress and anxiety about papers and tests, and I don't want my symptoms increasing so much because of those two factors that I don't feel well enough to even do any schoolwork. I'm probably just getting too ahead of everything, but it's hard not to think what's to come.

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 8/23/2011 2:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh honey I understand you so well! I have a huge fear of missing out and it kills me to be locked in my apartment when everyone else is out having fun. For those situations I would try the Gaviscon, Tums, and saltine route.

I understand your anxiety about term papers and all, but hopefully if you have some faith in your medication (I'm so glad the Prilosec is working for you!) you can put your mind at ease a bit.

Good luck! Keep us posted.
Ash

tirali
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/24/2011 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm about to start my sophomore year of college, and I used to have quite bad GERD. I actually ended up getting a Nissen senior year of high school, but I do have a couple pieces of advice.
Socially: realistically, you'll probably have some drinks here and there, but try really hard not to get drunk. As someone who physically cannot throw up anymore, I can tell you that retching on your knees in an icky dorm bathroom is not a fun situation. I always carried a plastic water bottle with me to parties (that way it doesn't matter if you lose it) and that way people often assume it's vodka, if that matters to you. I also would pour "shots" of water for myself so I didn't get left out on the constant toasting etc.
If your dorm bed has one of those metal frames, you could try adjusting the head to be a notch or two higher than the foot, if you find it helpful to had the head elevated.
Academically: Make an appointment with the office of disability. I have depression and anxiety which really affect my academic life, and I never went to get accommodations set up this past year- "disability" is so stigmatizing. But yesterday I found out I have a heart condition, so I can't put it off any longer! People with health problems you can see aren't the only ones who need some help. If you have some sort of plan in place, your professors will at least be apt to be more lenient with you if you have to miss a class here and there.
Good luck!

aveairam
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/1/2011 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
If your symptoms are aggravated by stress (mine definitely are), learning to cope with your stress is key to managing GERD/LPR. A regular workout routine and a regular sleeping schedule can help a lot. I know this can be difficult in college with papers due and exams all piling on top of one another. But the fact that you are thinking about this ahead of time means you are ahead of the game. I would highly recommend enrolling in an athletics class, maybe two, especially if you aren't inclined to keep a workout schedule on your own. I've found running to be quite therapeutic during times of high stress. However, it doesn't have to be high intensity. Yoga would be great! I've found combining the a high intensity class (martial arts, running, swimming, ect.) with a yoga class to be the most effective. For example, take a Yoga class on T/R and a running or swimming class on M/W/F. Don't worry if you aren't in the best of shape. There are plenty of introductory classes. I never worked out in high school and only enrolled in such classes my junior year to help cope with quitting smoking. It worked wonders! If running or marital arts is too scary at this point, start with something low impact (yoga, aerobics, etc.)

Additionally, if you find that you are not adequately coping with your stress on your own, go visit your college medical clinic. Most major universities offer free (or very cheap) counseling and psychiatry services. Don't hesitate to use them! They are there for students. If your symptoms are very severe and unmanageable medication may be appropriate. (However, I guarantee that one of the first things they will tell you is to go to bed at the same time every night, eat well and exercise regularly.)

If you are prone to feeling isolated, getting involved on campus can be a great move. Go to school events! Join some clubs! Volunteer! Aside from making the world a better place, it's also a great way to meet new friends outside of the drinking scene.

aveairam
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/1/2011 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
One final note, if you find your stress is causing insomnia (I hope it never gets to this point, but just in case) try learning some relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, meditation, etc.). It can help you clear your head and relax your muscles, which will help you fall asleep and ultimately reduce your stress. There are relaxation CD's you can buy. It's a little cheesy, but they can work. Just put on some headphones. =)

Most of these techniques involve deep slow breathing, paying attention to your breath and alternately tensing and relaxing your muscles. Also, studies have shown that people who imagine peaceful scenery (beach, spring, mountains, field, etc.) when they go to bed tend to fall asleep faster than people who don't.

Good luck with everything!
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