Just diagnosed...Help

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blankman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/6/2008 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 
I'm new to this forum...to make a long story short I developed a non productive cough and at the same time i was suffering from excessive burping .....i had a sore throat and the doctor said i was suffering from acid reflux. I have never regurgitated up any food but i have a sore throat every morning.. which subsides a little towards the end of the day. I have been reading posts abt GERD for a long time and i'm terrified of E cancer...
 
How do i go about managing this ??? please help me... am already on Gasex PPI's and i'm realy tense and anxious... have not done an endoscopy yet but the doc said that tests will be carried out later...i'v lost weight because i dont know how much i should eat to avoid triggering reflux. One other thing.. if the gerd is controlled does the sore throat go away?? How do i protect my throat?? Does surgery help??
 
Appreciate all the help and the prompt replies...
 
Blankman...

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 3/6/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, welcome to Healingwell :) I'm not the regular moderator here - our GERD moderator is on vacation. I was just recently diagnosed with acid reflux too but I have been doing some research on it myself. I am by no means an expert though! I do know that by taking PPI's it helps reduce the stomach acid and help heal the stomach and espophagus (sp?). Once the stomach acid is under control, the sore throat should ease. I believe that surgery is a last ditch thing if all other meds don't work. As for being scared and anxious - stress and our moods can actually cause more stomach acid productivity so please try to relax. E.Cancer is not that common and is usually seen in cases of severe GERD. However, if your sore throat doesn't go away after being on a PPI for a length of time, please bring that up to your doctor. How long have you been on a PPI? Regarding on what to eat, there is post on here by Tammygirl about what foods to avoid with acid reflux/GERD.
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marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 3/6/2008 7:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Red--unless you are a smoker-- GERD and cancer are not related in most of the literature I have read. I know that some people have Barrett's esophagus--which some have linked to a per-cancerous condition, but I just read somewhere that Barrett's turns into cancer much less often than previously thought. So all is good news there.

I'll bump up the thread on things to do when you have GERD. Check it out for ideas.

Feel better soon:)

blankman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/6/2008 11:14 PM (GMT -6)   

 

Hi Red / Marthamae,

Thanks for your early and timely responses. I find them extremely reassuring. I have been on PPI's for a around 9 days now, and i sleep with 2 pillows, eat 3 hours before going to bed, however i seem to get hot flushes in my head and neck... has this happened to you both before or is it a side effect of the PPI's?? I do feel a littie better but my sore throats not gone as yet..

 


marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 3/7/2008 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I haven't had hot flushes from my Protonix, but I guess just about anything is possible.

One thing I have learned about GERD and digestive issues in general...it takes a LONG time for anything to improve. I was used to going to a doctor and having something treated and then, bam it was fixed. GERD has not been that way. It was hell on wheels for a while...I could barely eat and was hardly surviving. Then it got bearable but I couldn't work or live a normal life. Then it got quite a bit better. Then it got worse but never as bad as it was. Now it is bearable but still annoying and a major factor in my life. I am on a very limited diet and cannot eat either much variety or a big quantity of food. However, I am back to work full time and most people don't know anything is wrong with me.

Tonight for example, I ate a Girl Scout thin mint cookie. It tasted so good I had four more. I knew as I was eating them it was a big mistake. I've had serious pain for about three hours now. It certainly has not been worth it. I probably would have been fine with one cookie. But dumping all that on my stomach was a disaster.

Another bizarre thing about GERD is the way the symptoms rotate. For example, I never have heartburn. I mean never. For a while, I had the most terrible stomach gas. I felt like i was going to die. I could hardly breathe. Fortunately, that has ended. Now my big symptom is this dry cough when I am lying down. I cough and choke. If I sit up it stops. For a while I also had a big problem with a lump in my throat. Now that's sort of gone. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I know there are many worse diseases, but this one is a major pain. Fortunately, for me at least, I can bear it. (So far!)

blankman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/7/2008 4:05 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Marthamae,

I'm pretty scared too...dont know what these hot flushes are...been having them for the past couple of days... also my cough has worsened...and i'm now bringing up phlegm (thick and clear...no blood)...quite a lot of people at work have a cough and cold... so i dont know whether the sore throat is caused by the cold or GERD.. whenever i cough i can feel the phlegm in my throat...i've never experienced heartburn or regurgutation or nausea either....so if i sleep with 2 pillows how does the acid affect my throat?? I dont smoke..( quit now since a year, smoked for 2 years- 4-5 ciggies a day) and had taken a chest xray, although my blood test showed a viral infection...but everything was clear..so i still dont know whats wrong.. just worried abt my throat..its lessened now..but its still there..

Thanks Marthamae for everything...

 


sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 3/7/2008 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Blankman,

I've had severe GERD for two years now and have been on 4 different PPI meds.  Nexium has worked the best for me.  I used to take two a day,  now I take one a day plus a zantac or two sometimes.   I'm mentioning all of this because sometimes you have to experiment with different PPI's to find the one that works the best for you.  One may give you hot flashes and another may not...although they all stop acid production, the ingredients are somewhat different in each. 

Also, if you don't experience heartburn but have the sore throat, do some research on  Laryngopharyngeal Reflux or LPR.  This sounds like what is happening to you.  Many people with LPR do not experience heartburn but have acid reflux.   

 Another thing I would suggest is to get a foam wedge to prop yourself up while you sleep.  This helped me tremendously because pillows will not give you the proper angle to keep acid down.  I got mine at a foam shop; they have them all precut.  I then cut a piece of the waffle pad foam to fit it and glued it on with spray glue, then I made a slipcover for it.  Now it's perfect and I sleep like a baby; don't even no how to sleep flat anymore.   You will get better once you figure out how to manage this disease and what works best for you. We all have different trigger foods and some natural medications like DGL (licorice) and orange extract have helped people.   Hang in there and we will all be here for you. 

Sillylilly

  


Post Edited (sillylilly) : 3/7/2008 6:49:25 AM (GMT-7)


sciencelady
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 3/7/2008 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Blankman - I agree with Marthamae - GERD takes a LONG time to get control of. I started with symptoms in Aug. 07. I was diagnosed in Dec, started PPI's right after Christmas. I am just now starting to feel a bit better. ( I had trouble with side effects from Nexium and Prevacid, took Zegerid twice a day for 2 months with some refief, but not nearly enough). Now I've been on Aciphex for 2 weeks. I am cautiously optimistic that this one will work. I'm taking it twice a day and THINK I'm feeling a bit better. Improvement is so slow that you're not really quite sure if it's real or imagined. My symptoms were nausea 24/7, constant burping, stomach gurlgling, bloating, but very rarely, heartburn. I felt absolutely horrific and was convinced at first, that I must be dying. My appetite was nonexistant - I couldn't even think about food. I forced myself to eat 1500-1700 calories a day just to maintain my weight. I'm small and don't want to lose any. I lost 10 pounds at first but am starting to gain back a few pounds. I still haven't been able to identify trigger foods although I am eating a low fat diet, no caffeine or soda, no tomato sauce or other spicy foods. I DO have 1-2 glasses of wine/week. I don't eat after 6pm and use a wedge pillow. I can't really tell if any of this helps. I expected much faster progess. Hang in there and keep trying different medicines, tactics, doctors until you see some results. ( Maalox, Zantac, Pepcid or any other antacid or H2 inhibitor seemed to do nothing for me.) I take one day at a time and am thankful for any good ones that I get - I just pray that I continue to have more good ones ahead.

marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 3/7/2008 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree that the wedge pillow is a good idea. it really helps with the coughing also. I got mine online somewhere and it arrived in about 2 days.
Mine came with a cover. I think I got it off Amazon.

Blankman, I am wondering if you have a cold right now. A productive cough ...and you mentioned a viral infection...you could just have a couple of bugs which are making your GERD seem a lot worse. GERD is aggravated by everything else. My GERD was almost gone a while back and then I caught a horrific cold/ bronchitis. The GERD flared right up and hasn't gone away. But it's better. What a long journey!

blankman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/8/2008 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Guys,

Just to update you on the progress so far...

Went to my gastro doc...n told him that i felt better with the meds although my throat was still a bit bad..the burping has reduced significantly and asked me abt my productive cough...i told him i was diagnosed three weeks back with a viral infection and had the cough since then.. although it turned productive a couple of days back.. He then asked me if the throat felt worse in the morning...n i told him that after drinking liquids i felt better..as i had to stop 3 hrs before i sleep.. no other pain or discomfort in the esophagus.. no difficulty swallowing, no gas problems...except belching (not loud or offensive) twice or thrice after food.

He told me that belching was caused by GERD..(but many people belch worse than i do.. thought that was normal...).... he told me he thought it was mild GERD and temporary..and since it takes a while to settle he prescribed GASEX twice one in the morning and another in the night...dont know what to make of this...

 


blankman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/8/2008 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
sorry... he prescribed it for a month...and told me to see how i felt after that...
 

marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 3/8/2008 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I think that all sounds really good. Try to take it easy and give it some time. Don't get hyper about how you feel in the next few days or weeks. Mark off a month on your calendar and worry about how you'll feel in a month!:)

Good luck and keep posting!

blankman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/13/2008 12:45 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Marthamae,

This may be a stupid question.. but how do i know when there is acid backing up to my esophagus?? is there pain or discomfort... all i have is belching after i eat...is that a sign?? my sore throat's gone and i'm feeling much better.. but i cant really tell whats happening to me..if my esophagus was bad would my throat get bad as well?? I would really appreciate a reply to this.. u have been very kind...also yesterday i could feel the food going down .. although i was eating some dry food...forcing myself to eat..dont know what to make of this..

 


marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 3/13/2008 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
There's no such thing as a stupid question around here.

The following is just my opinion...I am no doctor obviously and someone else may have a different and better opinion.

You won't really know (without doctor ordered tests) if there is acid backing up in your esophagus. It may come all the way up into your throat and mouth and then you'll know cause it had to come THROUGH your esophagus. You'll taste the acid or recently eaten food and it'll taste yucky--you'll know what it is. This often happens after you bend over or lie down after eating or belch.

I am glad your throat is feeling better. Yes, I believe your esophagus can still be having acid issues even if your throat is better. Acid might be just hanging around low and irritating your lower esophagus. Or it might not be. If you are taking a PPI, this should be taking care of that for the most part, especially if you are feeling better.

If you are feeling food going down and it feels dry, try liquid with your food. My gut response is to tell you that you are hyper-sensitive to the whole thing. That is, you have been thinking so much about your throat, etc. that you are noticing every little feeling and twinge. It doesn't mean those feelings aren't there--it just means they are normal. Your throat might be a little sore from your recent viral thing or whatever or it could be sore from a little acid. So swallowing might feel "funny" a little. Don't worry about it. Worry and anxiety makes it all ridiculously worse. You can really work yourself into a frenzy worrying about this whole thing. If you are swallowing and keeping your weight on, you're doing okay. If not, see the doc.

Be sure to focus on and enjoy other parts of your life. Get out and walk or read or do whatever you like to do. Spend time with friends. This should not take over your life. Many hugs.

pushinupthedaisies
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 3/15/2008 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
as a long time GERD sufferer, i've suffered through long bouts of a dry, nonproductive cough.  the one and only thing that helped (actually cured) the cough was acupuncture.  I highly suggest it even if you've never tried any natural healing before.  i hadn't and it helped me when no drug or prescription cough medicine helped.  good luck!
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